New government resolution gives schools a free hand to cancel RTE kindergarten admissions
Four-year-old Priya Kanojia was bubbling with excitement. It was the first time she was going to school and she had new books, uniform and new friends. Priya was one of hundreds of students in the city who got admission to kindergarten in international schools through the RTE free admissions — something unimaginable for her father who works as a driver.
But, after attending school for two weeks, on Saturday the school handed over a copy of the latest government resolution (GR) to her parents, asking her to stop attending school from Monday, as her admission stands canceled.
Priya (second from left) with her parents and another family whose child has suffered the same fate
This resolution, introduced by the state education department earlier this week, gives schools a free hand to cancel kindergarten admissions and mentions that since the education department will not reimburse money for admissions in kindergarten, they can cancel admissions for those classes and instead make space for admission in Class I.
“My daughter was thoroughly enjoying herself in the school, and we were so happy. How do I tell her that she cannot go to that school from now on?” asked Samarnath Kanojia, her father.
Priya got admission at the Bombay International School in Babulnath under the 25 per cent free quota admissions of the Right to Education (RTE) Act. She started attending school April 16 onwards, but today her admission stands cancelled.
“I have already spent Rs 3,500 on the uniform and other things and now the school is asking us to return the books as well,” added Kanojia.
Anudanit Shiksha Bachao Samiti (ASBS), a social group, has decided to file a writ petition at the Bombay High Court to get a stay on this GR.
“The unaided schools had filed a petition in the high court related to the reimbursement of RTE admissions, which the government has not yet distributed. Instead of clearing this case with the education department, the government has simply given schools the option to decide whether they want to give admissions to the children or not. This defies the RTE Act altogether,” said Sudhir Paranjape, from ASBS.
When contacted, principal secretary of school education department Nand Kumar said that the GR was introduced to avoid confusion. “Those students whose admissions are getting cancelled will get admitted in other schools. No one will be left without a seat,” he said.