MET Rishikul Vidyalaya, Billabong International School and Pawar Public School are under fire for denying admissions to students from socially or economically backward classes
The never-ending fight of students to get admitted in schools under the RTE (Right to Education) freeship quota just took a new twist. The office of the deputy director of education is threatening cancellation of NOCs, filing of FIRs, as well as dragging defaulting schools to court.
MET Rishikul Vidyalaya’s name is in a report stating how it has flouted RTE rules and denied admission to students. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi
As of now, three city schools have found their way into a report that the deputy director’s office will send to the state education department, stating how they have flouted RTE rules and denied admissions to students from the economically/socially backward classes of the society.
MET Rishikul Vidyalaya (Bandra), Billabong International School (Santacruz) and Pawar Public School (Bhandup), have already been sent a number of notices to accept admissions and the education department has also called the school heads for a discussion on the issue.
“Notices were sent to several schools, based on the complaints we received of schools not accepting their admissions. Following the notices, most schools except for three, have admitted students,” said a senior official from the office of the deputy director of education.
The BMC conducted only one round of RTE admissions this year where 1,461 of 2,596 students who were allotted seats were admitted by respective schools. A huge group of students who were being denied admissions had filed complaints with the education department.
Show-cause notices based on these complaints were sent to the schools last month. “The schools with genuine problems are being considered but these particular schools are at fault either because the management is adamant or they didn’t check the rules and regulations well before agreeing to admit students,” said the official.
At Billabong International School in Santacruz, a handful of students got admitted to Std I under the RTE freeship quota, but those applying for pre-primary admission (six students) have been left in the lurch. “We don’t have a pre-primary section,” said Lina Ashar, founder/chairperson of the group that runs the school.
“We have made an application to the government about our expansion plans, which will then give us space to start the pre-primary section; until then we are helpless,” she added. The report by the school education department, however, highlights how authorities of Billabong International School (Santacruz) should have mentioned this problem when the registration process started way back in March. Similarly, at Pawar Public School in Bhandup, the school’s authority say students who were allotted to their school have been admitted, except for one.
“The school states how this one student does not fit the criteria and isn’t the right age, but RTE also clearly states that schools cannot deny admission to students on any grounds,” said an official from the school department, and blamed the problem on the ‘adamant attitude’ of the school management. “They only need to admit one student, which they can easily manage, but refuse to. How can we ensure full implementation of RTE if schools don’t support us?” asked B B Chavan, deputy director of school education.
The worse of the lot, is MET Rishikul Vidyalaya in Bandra where not a single of the 30 students who were allotted seats, have been admitted — 15 for pre-primary and another 15 for Std I. While the school spokesperson refused to comment on the issue, officials from the office of the deputy director of education stated the problem surrounds zero communication from the school management.
“The principal of MET Rishikul Vidyalaya was called for a meeting to discuss admissions and she said that she can’t take any decision till her school management gives her the permissions. A direct notice from the government should give the management the much-needed push,” added Chavan.
As of now, the report states that not only do these schools stand to lose their No Objection Certificate (NOC), but might also be dragged to court. “We are also mulling over filing FIRs against the school managements,” added the official.