Pay like others or take your kid elsewhere, EWS parents say school asking full fee

Updated on Mar 29, 2019 09:51 AM IST

St Lawrence Convent, they claimed, told them that the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, is applicable only till the completion of elementary education.

EWS parents say school asking for full fee(Hindustan Times Media)
EWS parents say school asking for full fee(Hindustan Times Media)
New Delhi | By

Parents of several class 9 students, studying at a private school in east Delhi under the economically weaker section (EWS) quota, have alleged they have been asked to submit fees paid by general students from the academic session 2019-20 if they want their wards to continue in the school.

St Lawrence Convent, they claimed, told them that the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, is applicable only till the completion of elementary education.

The Act mandates private schools to reserve 25% seats for EWS and disadvantaged groups (DG) students and impart free and compulsory
education to these students till the completion of elementary education, i.e Class 8.

But as per the Delhi school education rules, private schools built on government land have to provide free and compulsory education to EWS students up to class 12. St Lawrence Convent is built on Delhi Development Authority (DDA) land in Geeta Colony.

Parents said school officials informed them about the fee when they went to collect the class 8 examination results on Wednesday.

“When I went to collect my son’s result on Wednesday, I saw teachers filling CBSE registration forms of other students. I asked them why was my son given the form. I was told my son, being an EWS student, won’t be allowed to continue because the RTE Act is applicable up to class 8,” said the parent of one of the student.

Another parent alleged they were asked to pay fee equivalent to general category students if he wanted his child to continue. “I was told to pay fee like other kids or enroll my child at any other school,” the parent said.

When contacted on a phone number available on the school’s website, an official, who identified herself as the in-charge, denied the allegations. “We have not denied admission to anyone in the next class. We told them we required some time to decide what we can do and we will let them know shortly. We have not even asked them to pay fee like general category students,” she said.

However, the person declined to comment if the EWS students would be allowed to attend classes on Monday, when the new session begins.

Parents on Thursday sent written complaints to the Directorate of Education (DoE) and education minister Manish Sisodia’s office.

Binay Bhushan, director, said, “It’s mandatory for all schools built on public land in Delhi to provide free and compulsory education to EWS students up to class 12. It’s a clause in their land lease. We will look in to this issue.”

Ashok Aggrawal of justice for all, an NGO working in the field of education, said such complaints are rampant from schools not built on public land and there is no “norm” to take action against these. “We had last year filed a petition in the Delhi High Court seeking extension of the RTE act up to class 12. We have recently written to the union HRD ministry, seeking an amendment in the act,” he said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Fareeha Iftikhar is a principal correspondent with the national political bureau of the Hindustan Times. She tracks the education ministry, and covers the beat at the national level for the newspaper. She also writes on issues related to gender, human rights and different policy matters.

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