Parents have now discovered a novel way for nursery school admissions of their kids. Majority of parents who want their toddler admitted in nursery schools are allegedly using fake Economic Weaker Section (EWS) certificates to get benefit of the quota system, alleged city schools.
“We can say for sure that 90 percent of certificates that people are getting from SDMs are fake. Parents who come to our school to get their children admitted under EWS and disadvantaged group (DG) live in DDA flats and speak impeccable English. They drive to school in cars and then claim the quota. This is a fraud,” said Father J A Carvalho principal Father Agnel School, Gautam Nagar.
“Minorities and Christian schools were asked by the government to reserve the seats for economically weaker sections which they are not bound to do so under the law,” he added.
"It is the government's duty to teach the poor and since it cannot run its school properly, they are playing tricks on minorities' schools. EWS has been imposed on Christian schools who were educating the poor even before this diktat was implemented. The government is playing hide and seek game and hence we have moved to the court,” he said.
Forum of Public Schools (FPS) chairperson, Madhulika Sen, lambasted the city government for imposing the RTE Act on public schools.
Sen argued, "Despite the fact that we pay education tax to the government, we are being forced to implement 25 percent of reservation for EWS and DG people. If 25 percent of seats are reserved in public schools for the poor, then what about the growing middle class."
But some parents belonging to economically weaker sections feel that they are bearing the brunt of the misuse of EWS quota scheme.
Sunita Athwal, a resident of Minto Road complex, was sure that her child will get admission in St. Columba's School under EWS category. But to her surprise the school didn't fill 25 percent of EWS seats denying her child admission in the school violating Right to education (RTE) Act, 2009.
Sunita then approached Social Jurist, a group of lawyers and social activists to get justice.
"Instead of 25 percent, the school reserved only 15 percent seats for EWS and DG children," Sunita added.
Moreover, she claimed that the school has been applying point system as criteria for admission in EWS and DG category.
St. Columba's School form clearly mentioned that "Total number of seats to be filled from economically and socially disadvantaged sections of the society is 15 percent."
However, St Columba's School official has denied the allegations.
"We have reserved 15 percent seats. And for this we have got a stay order from the court and the matter is sub-judice," said an official on the condition of anonymity.
However, advocate Ashok Agarwal, who has filed a PIL in a local court on this issue said, "We don't know about such stay order. On one hand they are claiming 15 percent reservation and on the other hand they are talking about the stay order."
He further added, "Many schools, including missionary schools, are not providing EWS quota and they are doing this in clear violation of RTE. The RP Jain federations run many schools and they have blocked EWS."
Ashok Agarwal, who also runs NGO Social Jurist, said, "The implementation is tardy. When new things are introduced it takes time to start unrolling. But we will win."
All recognised schools across the country are bound by government directives to implement RTE.
Activists strongly feel that the absence of district admission monitoring committee in every district is making things easier for schools.
A PIL was filed in a court to find out how many schools, including Christian-run schools had violated RTE Act last year