The case of Sadiya Sheikh, who was denied admission under the RTE quota because neither of her parents had a school-leaving certificate, has led to the BMC taking flak from educationists and activists. Activists say they have complained time and again about parents being misguided by poorly informed people at the various guidance centres that were set up by BMC for RTE online admissions.
“We were specifically asked to submit a caste certificate and our school-leaving certificates at the time of submitting the application form by an official at the guidance centre. When we told them we don’t have either of the certificates, we were asked to apply to BMC schools instead,” said Zehrunisha Sheikh, Sadiya’s mother.
Despite activists intervening and saying that Sadiya was applying with a copy of her parents’ income certificate (see box), officials refused to accept the admission form. Jayant Jain, president, Forum for Fairness in Education, said demanding certificates from families coming from economically backward classes of society is frivolous.
“All they need to do is provide their income certificate. What is the need for a caste certificate in such matters? Most people manning the help centres set up for RTE admissions are not very well informed and they leave parents confused,” said Jain. He added that many parents have complained about not being able to find all the documents demanded by BMC officials for admissions.
Education officer Shambhavi Jogi admitted that Sadiya’s parents must have been misguided. “Admissions under RTE are given to all students who come from economically or socially backward classes of society. The parents must have been misguided,” she said, adding that the second round of lottery for RTE online admissions will be held today.
According to the website set up for RTE online admissions, parents are supposed to submit the following documents while submitting the admission form:
>> Caste certificate in case of SC or ST
>> Certificate of disability if applicable
>> Residence proof
>> Birth Certificate
>> Photo of student