After high court rejects plea for entrance tests, school to move SC

After the Bombay High Court (HC) dismissed the writ petition filed by Jnana Prabodhini Prashala (JPP), a reputable city-based school, about continuing the entrance test for admitting Std V students, the school management is now planning to knock the doors of the Supreme Court. 

Selection of the fittest: Jnana Prabodhani Prashala at Sadashiv Peth. Pic/Sachin Thakare

Simultaneously, the management is also in touch with the state education minister Rajendra Darda, with a request to secure a specified category status for the school.

According to section 13 of the Right To Education Act (RTE), no school should conduct any entrance or screening test to admit students in the age group of 6-13 years. In its judgment, the HC clarified that JPP came under the ambit of the RTE and had to function within the framework of the act.

All about IQ
At a press conference called yesterday, Vivek Ponkshe, member of JPP management council, said, “We respect the HC judgment.

It should, however, be noted that since the beginning, the school has been admitting students to Std V by conducting a specially designed multi-faceted intelligence test. The motive behind the test is not to discriminate against any students, but to select students on the basis of their intelligence quotient (IQ).”

“In the 1980s, before the launch of Navoday schools all across the country, the then Prime Minister Narasimha Rao had personally visited JPP so that the government could replicate a similar learning model in Navoday schools.

So by taking into consideration the rich tradition of the school, we are requesting the state government to give us the status of a special school,” said Ponkshe. The school, every year in March, conducts the screening test to admit 80 students in Std V.

No special status
On the other hand, state primary education director Mahaveer Mane scrapped the demand made by JPP. “Right now, except Navoday and Sainik schools, not a single private school has been allotted special status. So I don’t think JPP will ever get such a status. The school has to function under the purview of the RTE.”  

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