DoE issues EWS guidelines

Circular is vague and may be misused by unaided schools

The Directorate of Education has finally issued guidelines on EWS nursery admissions.

They say private schools will have to abide by the neighbourhood criteria for admitting children from economically weaker section and disadvantaged group as per the Delhi High Court’s order of January 31.

However, experts and principals said it is too late to act upon the guidelines. The HC’s order emphasised on priority to be given to EWS students residing within less than one kilometre from the school instead of the earlier one-kilometre rule. Second preference will be given to those staying between one and three kilometres.

The third preference will be given to those living at a distance between three and six kilometres. Others residing beyond six kilometres from the school can get admission only if seats still remain vacant.

Schools were asked to withhold the declaration of their first lists till clarifications were issued by the High Court after this order.

But schools which had published their first EWS list before this order were not required to withdraw the list.

However, Khagesh Jha, supreme court advocate and co-ordinator of All India Parents Association, believes that the circular will not serve its purpose.

“We welcome the guideline as it will be helpful to initiate EWS admission which is on hold in some schools but the circular is vague and will be misused by unaided schools. There is no clarification on the fate of draw of lots that took place before January 31.

“This administrative order has retrospective effect which is not legally correct. The amendment should be in the form of statutory notification specially when it comes after a delay of 14 days but it is in the form of an administrative order.” Schools which were waiting for DoE’s guidelines said they will begin admissions soon.

“We had scheduled the draw of lots on February 18 on a tentative basis. Once we get the circular, we will reschedule the draw accordingly. But we have more than 500 candidates within one kilometre for only 45 seats. I am not sure if we will be able to consider candidates living beyond a kilometer from the school premises,” said Dr R K Sharma, principal of Ahlcon Public school. While other schools such as Springdales said they have already started admissions under the EWS category.

Schools, parents confused

“Education minister Lovely had met NPSC members and other groups during first week of February where he had given us the green signal about going ahead with the EWS admissions. So we have followed the general category guidelines,” said Ameeta Wattal, principal Sprindales School.

“We have already admitted some students as per our list formed after draw of lots before January 31,” she added.

A P Sharma, principal of Apeejay School, Sheikh Sarai echoed similar thoughts: “Conducting the draw of lots again will create chaos among parents and the DoE guidelines do not specify that lots have to be done again.”

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