'CM must change distance criteria for EWS admissions'

Not many pvt schools within 1 km area, says forum

Social Jurist, a forum of lawyers working in the field of health and education, has written to chief minister Sheila Dikshit requesting uniform distance criteria for admission of economically weaker section (EWS) students in recognised private schools.

The existing distance criterion is that the schools should be within a kilometre from the place of the child’s residence. However, parents complain that their area schools do not come within 1 km.

Parents complain

Advocate Ashok Agarwal of Social Jurist said many parents complain that there is no unaided private school within 1 km of their residence and therefore, they are deprived of the benefit of EWS provisions of RTE Act, 2009.

During academic years 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, admissions in unaided non-minority private schools in terms of section 12 (1) (c) of Right of Children for Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (RTE, Act) are based on distance criteria, that is, children residing within 1 km are considered for the first round of admission,” said
Agarwal

He added that distance criteria changes should be implemented in the next academic session. Agarwal said in case the seats are unfilled in the first round, children residing up to 3 km are considered in the second round of admission.

“In case, if seats remain unfilled even after the second round of admission, children residing up to 6 km are considered for the third round. And if seats are still vacant, children residing beyond 6 km are considered for final round,” he said. Social Jurists members said majority of seats are filled after the first round of admissions.

Agarwal said large number of children, particularly residing in various slums and re-settlement colonies do not get any opportunity for consideration under 25 per cent quota as they don’t come under the 1 km criteria.

“There are no unaided private schools within a kilometre of large number of slums and resettlement colonies. Thus parents staying there get no opportunity to avail the facility of EWS quota,” Agarwal added.

The members also said usually majority of the children are admitted to senior secondary schools (from nursery to class 12).

“In terms of the national policy on education, secondary and senior secondary schools are required to be within 3 and 5 km respectively. It is, therefore, necessary that 1 km preferential criteria needs to be abolished and in the first round of admission, at least all children residing within 3 km need to be considered for admission through draw of lots,” Agarwal added.

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