Govt schools deny admission to slum children, offer excuses

Parents of over 50 kids living in Patparganj given the runaround

More than 50 children have been denied admission in government schools near Pandav Nagar police station in Patparganj area in east Delhi. Parents allege that this is because they live in jhuggis.

Injustice: Children of Patparganj slum area feel schools do not admit them because they live in jhuggis. Dh photo

Eleven-year-old Gaurav, who studied in a village earlier, recently shifted to a slum in Shastri Park near the police station. His parents have failed to get him admitted to a Municipal Corporation of Delhi-run schools nearby.

“The schools say I am not eligible for admission in city schools. But I want to study and support my family,” said Gaurav.

Samti Devi, Gaurav’s mother said schools misbehave with parents.
“They do not talk to us properly. Teachers say we should not admit our children in government schools because they do not teach there,” she said.

“They force us to apply in private schools where they won't admit our child if we do not pay the fees.,” she added.

Similarly, Laxmi, a mother of two children aged 11 and 9 years has been running around to different schools in her area, unable to get them admitted for the last two years. “

The school headmistress says that I do not have enough documents when I have all essential papers such as birth certificates and below poverty line cards. I do not have the address proof because I live in a jhuggi,” she said.

Another woman, Anita has been struggling to get her third child’s admission in Sarvo Vidyala, Patparganj since a year.

“I have two children who are studying in the same school. But the school authorities have refused to give admission to my third child saying there are no seats. They say schools do not have the infrastructure to accommodate more children,” she said.

Won’t fight
Sunita Chauhan, a student of social work and an activist working in the area, said it was difficult to convince people living in the slums to fight collectively for their rights.
“All government schools in this area initially refuse admission. I am a member in one of these schools. But I have to fight to get a child’s admission when getting education is their basic right,” she said. Sunita has made a list of children who have been denied admission.

Ashok Aggarwal, advocate and president of Social Jurist organisation, said he will take up the issue with the Directorate of Education.

RTE violation
“We visited several houses in this slum area and realised that all children face similar issues. Schools have refused to give them admission, without giving a valid reason. This is in contradiction of the Right To Education Act. We will try to get their admission done,” he said.

School authorities in the area refused to comment on the issue.

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