Many schools reduce number of seats at entry level, RTI reveals

Close to 100 schools in Delhi, which include some prestigious names, have reduced a large number of seats at the entry level violating admission guidelines, reveals a Right to Information query filed in January.

Experts allege that schools have decreased the number of seats to ensure less number of admissions under the Economically Weaker Section category.

According to Delhi School Education Order, 2011, the number of seats schools must allot at the entry-level must at least be equal to the seats in the class that has the highest number of students. But schools have allotted less seats at the nursery and pre-school levels.

For instance, Ryan International in Rohini with highest enrolment of 548 has allotted only 160 seats for pre-school, DAV Public School in Rohini with a highest enrolment of 369 has allotted only 131 seats, Modern School in Vasant Kunj with highest enrolment of 180 has allotted 113 seats and Delhi Public School in Vasant Kunj with a highest enrolment of 441 has allotted only 170 seats. Other schools include Maxfort and Mount Abu in Rohini, G D Goenka and Heritage in Vasant Kunj, D L DAV and St Stephens in Pitampura, St Marks in Janakpuri and Queen’s Mary in Tis Hazari.

No action last year

The situation was similar last year when Social Jurist had filed a PIL regarding schools flouting norms to admit less number of students under the EWS category. “We had sent 100 letters to the principal secretary of education and director of education highlighting the violations and demanded immediate action against the erring schools. But no action has been taken so far. Barring few schools out of the 1,200 recognised private schools in Delhi, most have opted for this tactic of reducing seats since almost three years. If the seats are increased, it is possible to increase the intake of students at the entry level by at least three times,” said Khagesh Jha, Supreme Court advocate and member, Social Jurist.

Lawyers from Social Jurist had moved the Delhi High Court on this issue and the affidavit filed by the Directorate of Education in last week of January, 2011 mentions that DoE is aware about these violations.

“Instead of ensuring compliance of the order, the DoE authorities are planning to amend the clause. This will give a free hand to schools to openly violate provisions under the Right to Education Act, 2009,” said Ashok Aggarwal, a Supreme Court advocate. However, a DoE official said it is too early to comment on the amendment of the clause.

Moreover, in 2011, at least 32 schools had absolutely zero enrolment of students under the EWS category. These include Birla Vidya Niketan in Pushp Vihar, K R Mangalam World School in Vaishali, Orion Convent School in Rohini and St Xavier’s School in north-west Delhi among others. The DoE has not taken action against these schools as well.

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