The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has written to the Delhi chief secretary over the denial of admission to children from the EWS (Economically Weaker Section) category in private schools over the last two years, asking him to take “legal remedy” in the matter.
The commission said prima facie, in the past two years, around 18,000 children were not provided admission in Delhi under the EWS category even after allotment by the directorate of education. It also asked the chief secretary to intimate it of action taken within seven days of the issue of the letter.
“The Commission is in receipt of various complaints regarding denial of admission to children belonging to EWS category by the Private Schools of Delhi even after getting selected in the lottery under section 12 (1) (c) of RTE Act, 2009. In this regard after taking cognizance of the complaints, concerned Dealing Officer from Directorate of Education had been summoned virtually to seek clarification in the issue of delay of admission to children belonging to ‘Economically Weaker Section’ by Private Schools,” NCPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo wrote to Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar Monday.
“During summon hearing it has come to light that in the academic year 2021-2022 approximate seats allotted for admission of EWS category children in Delhi Private Schools were 40,000 wherein admission has been given to 28,000 children. Further, in the academic year 2022-2023 approximate seats allotted for admission of EWS category children in Delhi Private Schools were 33,000 wherein admission has been given to around 27,000 children,” he wrote.
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“In addition, only 33,000 seats have been allotted in the academic year 2022-23 in lieu of 40,000 seats of the academic year 2021-22; evidently, 7,000 seats are yet to be allotted for admission of EWS category children by the Directorate of Education in the current academic year. The number is substantially ghastly,” he wrote.
Kanoongo said “free and compulsory education” is the “basic constitutional right of any child”, guaranteed by the Indian constitution.
“Moreover, Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has also passed an order… which mentions that ‘all categories of schools entrusted with the responsibility under Section 12 (1) of the RTE Act, 2009 whether aided, unaided or private schools shall implement the provision of Section 12 (1) (c) of RTE Act, 2009 ‘, The order further obligates State Governments/Union Territories to ensure that education is not disrupted and in case of such disruptions, steps to be taken by the State Governments/Union Territories as specified in the relevant statutes,” he wrote.
“You are further requested to apprise the Commission of any pending sub-judice matters related to the same issue, so that the Commission can intervene in the matters and be a party in the cases,” wrote Kanoongo.