Free admission under RTE Act: Despite Bombay HC order, schools yet to re-admit expelled pre-primary students

It looks like the confusion over free admissions for underprivileged children at kindergarten level under the Right to Education (RTE) Act is far from over.

A series of twists and turns in the implementation of the admission procedure has resulted in hundreds of children being left in the lurch by managements of the unaided schools.

However, what has complicated the matter further is the alleged disregard exhibited by the schools towards the order issued by the Bombay High Court to maintain the status quo pertaining to the admissions, claimed activists and parents.

The order was passed on May 11 after the court heard a PIL by parents and activists, challenging the cancellation of admissions, in the first week of May.

“The minute the education department gave schools a free hand to cancel all admissions in the pre-primary section, parents were immediately handed over a copy of the Government Resolution (GR) and told not to send their children to the school. Despite the HC’s order, the schools are still waiting to re-admit the expelled students,” said activist Vinodkumar Kanojia.

Recently, mid-day had highlighted the plight of two girls who had sought admissions under the RTE Act at the Bombay International School in Babulnath. Both the girls had attended 15 days of schooling in the month of April, before the school called for summer vacations. Soon after the government issued the GR in mid-April, the school authorities called their parents and revoked their admissions.

“When we went to the school with the copy of court order, we were not even entertained,” said one of the parents.
Despite repeated attempts to contact school authorities, the principal remained unavailable for comment.

Another PIL filed
On Tuesday, members of the Anudanit Shiksha Bachao Samiti (ASBS) filed a PIL in the High Court to highlight the alleged reluctance exhibited by the unaided schools in admitting students under the RTE Act.

“Schools have flatly refused to give admissions to students under RTE, neither in kindergarten nor in Class I. Many students who were allotted seats through the online process are still waiting for schools to confirm admissions,” said Sudhir Paranjape, from ASBS.

Officialspeak
Commenting on the issue, Principal Secretary (Education) Nandkumar said that soon a circular would be issued to unaided schools, asking them to follow the HC’s order.

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