Private school in Delhi asks class 9 EWS students to pay fees
Nineteen class 9 students of a private school in south Delhi studying for free, under the economically weaker section(EWS) quota, were asked to pay the fees for the upcoming session.
Parents of children studying under the EWS quota said Gyan Bharati School, Saket, handed over fee slips to their wards on Tuesday asking them to pay an amount of ₹22,400 for the AprilJune quarter.
According to the Right to Education(RTE) Act, 2009, private schools must reserve 25% of the total seats for EWS and disadvantaged groups (DG) students and impart free and compulsory education to them till the completion of elementary education (class 8).
“After getting the fee slip, I went to the school the next day(Wednesday) to inquire about the fees. I was told by the accounts department that if I can’t pay the required amount, I should get my child transferred to a government school,” said a parent of a child who studies in the school under the EWS quota.
“It is difficult for me to make two ends meet. How can I pay such a hefty amount?” the parent, who did not wish to be identified, added. The asked amount is said to be inclusive of the transport charges as well.
“Fee slips are issued to all students. So this time, 19 EWS students studying in class 9 were also given fee slips because as per the provisions of the RTE Act, private schools are only required to provide free elementary education till class 8 to them,” Nishi Misra Manglik, principal of the school, said.
She denied all allegations of students being asked to leave the school.
“I will never use such language for children or their parents. The students are still attending the classes. We have written to the education directorate and requested them for instructions on how to proceed further,” she said.
She added that last year the schools had also created the provision of awarding freeships to the two most outstanding EWS/ DG category students.
Binay Bhushan, director, directorate of education(DoE), 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. If parents are being issued fee slips and they come to us, we will look into the issue.”
Gyan Bharati School, Saket is built on Delhi Development Authority land.
Manglik, however, claimed that schools are not given enough clarity on these rules.
“As far as I know, the matter is sub judice. If we receive directives to extend imparting free ‘education up to class 12, we will do it.”
On Thursday, national president of All India Parents Association, Ashok Agarwal also wrote to chief minister Arvind Kejriwal urging him to take appropriate action over the issue.
“Needless to say both parents and students are worried as much as they are not in a position to pay school fees for class 9 and onward and if removed from school, the careers of the students would be spoiled,” the letter said.