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Finally, 5-year-old Sadiya will get to go to a good school

The child was being denied admission under RTE because her uneducated parents didn’t have school-leaving certificates; a Goregaon school has offered her admission after reading mid-day’s report

A day after mid-day reported (‘Your parents didn’t get education, why should you’, June 11) about five-year-old Sadiya Sheikh being denied admission under the online Right To Education (RTE) reservation quota process, a Goregaon school came forward and offered her a seat in Std I yesterday.

Also read: Mumbai girl denied admission under RTE as her parents aren't educated

Sadiya Sheikh with her mother Zehrunisha
Sadiya Sheikh with her mother Zehrunisha

The news from Jawahar Vidyalaya High School in Goregaon (W) came on the same day as BMC education officials took cognisance of the case. Sadiya was being denied admission because neither of her parents, who aren’t educated, could produce a school-leaving certificate. “We were ready to meet BMC education officials again and request them to consider Sadiya’s case, but the school administration called before that.

They have agreed to admit Sadiya in Std I,” said Avisha Kulkarni, an activist from NGO Desh Seva Samiti, which has been helping several children apply for admissions under the RTE reservation quota. The management of Jawahar Vidyalaya High School read the mid-day article on June 11 and contacted the NGO yesterday.

“Our school management extends admission to help and provide basic education to under-privileged children so they are not denied the opportunity to attend school,” said Vimala Narasimhan, administrator, Jawahar Vidyalaya High School. Sadiya and her parents have been called to the school on Friday to start the admission process.

Background
The family is a resident of Bhagat Singh Nagar slums in Goregaon (West). Sadiya and her two older brothers are first-generation learners. Their parents, who have never been to school, are striving to ensure that their children, at least, get proper education.

Seeking admission for their only daughter in a private school under the RTE reservation quota, Sadiya’s parents were surprised when the online admission process required at least one of them to submit a school-leaving certificate for their daughter’s admission form to be accepted.

“We were told that we needed to submit a caste certificate as well as our school-leaving certificates. We have tried everything possible to get hold of a caste certificate, but there’s no way we will get a school-leaving certificate,” Sadiya’s mother Zehrunisha Sheikh had told mid-day.

The Sheikhs had tried, unsuccessfully, to enroll their daughter in a private school under the RTE reservation quota last year too. Had Sadiya not got admission in any school under the RTE quota this year, she would not have been eligible for the quota seats from next year, because they are available only at the entry-level (kindergarten or Std I).

BMC speak
Officials from the BMC’s education department had suggested that Sadiya’s parents enroll her in a BMC school as it was not possible to get admission under the RTE reservation quota without the school-leaving certificate.

BMC education officer Shambavi Jogi, however, denied any such documents were required. “The purpose of conducting these admissions is to ensure that all children are enrolled in schools. We will make sure that no parents are left aggrieved,” said Jogi.

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