Minority school told to set aside 20% of seats for poor
The new nursery admission guidelines have raised the hackles of not just the general schools but also minority schools in the city.
The new guidelines require minority schools that have been allotted land by the government to reserve 20% of their seats for students from the economically weaker section (EWS). Till last year, schools were required to reserve 10% to 15% of their seats for EWS students.
The schools have spoken out against the order and said that the Supreme Court had clarified that they did not fall under the ambit of the Right to Education Act and therefore should not have to reserve a set number of seats for EWS students.
“We had informed the directorate of education last year as well. The Supreme Court order states we are not bound to reserve any seats. Issuing such guidelines is in contempt of the court,” said VK Williams, principal of Mount Carmel School in Anand Niketan.
However, senior government officials said the schools will have to follow the new rules as they were granted land by the government and it was in their allotment orders.
“They may not come under the ambit of RTE but they have obligations to the land deeds made at the time of allotment. This is the reason why they are being asked to reserve seats,” said a senior official.
But the schools claim they were not allotted land at concessional rates.
“We paid what the land rates were at the time. It was not concessional but institutional rates. We have written to the Lieutenant Governor already regarding the reservation clause. If there is no clarification on the issue, we will have to explore legal action,” said Sister Nirmalini, principal of Carmel Convent in Chanakyapuri.
Schools have maintained that they always admit students from EWS and have maintained transparency in their admissions.