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Parents up in arms against RTE

Activists to file a writ petition in Bombay HC after students, who were given admission by the BMC under the Right to Education Act, are left in the lurch by schools citing lack of seats as the reason

It’s been one week since schools across the city have opened but students’ admission woes under Right to Education act (RTE) seem to be endless. More parents have come forward with complaints against schools that have denied admission to their kids citing various reasons. In one case, an activist registered a non-cognisable complaint (NC) against the principal of a Sion school for making communal remarks.

Also read: Pay fees or leave, Mumbai school tells eight RTE students

Shreevallabh Ashram School
Despite  parents waiting for four hours outside Shreevallabh Ashram School in Sion, the school refused to admit their children. PIC/EMMANUAL KARBHARI

“On Thursday, parents waited for four hours outside Shreevallabh Ashram School in Sion. Then, the principal told the parents that theirs is a Hindu school and they will not allow many Muslims in the institute,” alleged activist Sudhir Paranjpe. An NC has been filed against the principal at Sion police station. Despite repeated attempts, the school authorities were unavailable for comment.

Also read: Child rights panel comes to RTE students' aid

In another case, close to 35 children, who were allotted seats in Sadhana English Primary School in Sion, were told by the management that only a few students will be given admissions. “We were told that the school has only nine seats available for RTE admissions so they can’t help us with the rest. What are we supposed to do now?” asked one of the parents. A spokesperson for the school said, “We have only 44 seats at the entry level, which is nursery. How can we give 35 seats to students under RTE?”

Ever since the first round of RTE admission seats were allotted in the second week of May, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) education office in Dadar East has been receiving complaints from parents about schools denying admissions. “We checked with the school authorities and they have now started giving admissions to the students. Other schools have been sent show cause notices and further action will also be taken,” said an official from the BMC’s education department.

Also read: Mumbai schools refuse to admit RTE applicants

With the increasing number of complaints, activists are planning to file a writ petition in Bombay High Court about this issue. “Parents and students are suffering at the hands of school managements and the education department is of little help. Schools completed 75 per cent admissions within few weeks but when it comes to 25 per cent RTE admissions, they’ve been struggling with for over two months. This is unfair to students,” said Paranjpe.

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