City's govt schools deny admissions
Government schools in Delhi have proved, yet again, that policies mean nothing unless followed up by action.
While the Right to Education Act was passed in 2009, schools in NCR continue to deny admission to countless students.
Sakshi, 16, who goes by her first name only, studied in a private school till class 10. She was a good student throughout, always scoring 80% and more.
Last year, after clearing class 10 exams, she approached a neighbourhood government school for admission in class 11.
"The school told me that I would not get admission as I had not studied in a government school all along," said Sakshi.
After sitting at home for a whole year on denial of admission, Sakshi went to take admission again this year but it was denied her on the grounds that there was a year-long gap in her education. "It was because of them that I was forced to sit at home for a year. They are now denying admission because I had a one-year gap. This is very absurd!" she said.
Sakshi's mother has been operated upon twice in the last two years. "The operations cost Rs 5 lakh and my father cannot afford to send me to a private school anymore," she said.
"I am ready to even sit for an exam if they want. I just want to study," she said.
She is not alone.
Monica will turn four in November. Her parents have been running from pillar to post for the last two months for her admission in a government school. "When I first went to the school in Trilokpuri, I was asked to come back in a week's time as the teachers were busy. I went back after 10 days and was told that all seats were full and I should come back next year," said Umesh, 30, Monica's father, who works as a labourer.
Several such cases have emerged in Delhi in the recent past. "There are hundreds of such cases. Parents are forced to run form one department to the other to make sure their child can attend school," said Saurabh Kumar, member of Josh, an organisation that works with children in the area.
Delhi education minister, Arvinder Singh, meanwhile, said that no school can deny a student admission.
"This is not acceptable. The students should come and meet me. They will all get admission," he said.