Saturday, January 25, 2014

Delhi's PRIVATE Schools up in arms against Najeeb Jung after 'Management' quota abolished, unanimously denounce new directive as violation of RTE Act

New Delhi: Delhi's recently appointed Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung has seemingly set free a cat among pigeons with his new directive which among other things, bans Management quota in nursery admissions. 
Crying foul over recent directive by of abolishing the highly debatable quota in pre-primary classes admission, most of Capital's prestigious private school have unanimously termed the order as ‘encroachment’ on their rights.
"We have already been forced to keep 25 per cent of seats in every school reserved for students from the economically weaker sections. Now, the management quota has also been done away with. We are private, unaided institutions and such kind of encroachment on our functioning leaves us with little elbow room," the principal of a prominent south Delhi school, refusing to be identified, said.
“The management quota has always been a part of the school’s rights. I don’t know the legality of this. As managers we need to accommodate admissions,” Madhulika Sen, principal of Tagore International School Vasant Vihar, feels. 
The reservations of private stem not only from government interfering in their functioning, but even apparent violation of provisions of Right to Education(RTE) Act that several school principals claim the new directive will bring into effect.
“Under RTE, neighbourhood has been defined as 1 km and 3 km but here it has been expanded to 6 km, which is a huge area," another private school principal said, again refusing to be identified.
Arguing against a point in the new order which gives 70 percent weightage to neighbourhood, thus making it most important factor which would decide admission into primary classes from this season on, a principal noted that the provision would put to disadvantage those children who do not have good schools within six kilometre of their homes.
“Under RTE, neighbourhood has been defined as 1 km and 3 km but here it has been expanded to 6 km, which is a huge area," she said on condition on anonymity.
Her concerns are echoed by Delhi State Public Schools’ Management Association president RK Jain, who points out that children living in unauthorised colonies and slums would feel the brunt of the new directive, owing to underdeveloped educational infrastructure in these colonies when compared to affluent neighbourhoods of south Delhi.
“Unfortunately 60% of Delhi has been evolved from these unauthorized areas. Therefore children of these areas have to get admission in the schools situated in the regularized colony of Delhi. If maximum weightage is given to the neighbourhood criteria then the children from the above said areas will be deprive from the school education,” Jain stated in a press statement.
The clause directing schools to award five percent quota to girl students is not being taken in good spirit either by most of the private schools and some parents.
"This is injustice. Is it a crime that our first and only child is a boy? As a child to parents who studied outside Delhi, my son will not get any points for alumni and sibling. And to add to our woes, there will be 5% quota for girls?" Mamata Bhatt, head of corporate communications at Rockland Hospital reacted.
More vocal in her criticism of the new guidelines, Indian School principal Tania Joshi said that freedom of the private schools has been completely ‘quashed’. 
The principal of Ahlcon International, Mayur Vihar, Phase I, Ashok Pandey, felt that 'the guidelines do not truly reflect the spirit of RTE'. 
“The school management will study the whole thing and will take a call on it,” he informed.

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