Of the 730 seats reserved under the Right to Education Act (RTE) for the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) and disadvantaged students,as many as 262 seats are still vacant in various unaided,recognised private schools of the city.
Two months ago,the education department displayed information regarding the seats filled and vacant under the RTE Act. The number of vacant seats still remains the same in the 31 unaided private schools.
District Education Officer (DEO),Ram Kumar Sharma said,Since two months we have not received any confirmation from EWS students for admission to private schools,which is why seats are vacant.
There are 30 seats reserved for EWS students at Manav Mangal School,Sector 21,but only one seat has been occupied till now,while the same is the case at Ajit Karim Singh International Public School,Sector 41,where of the 15 reserved seats,only one has been filled.
The Shishu Niketan School,Sector 22 and Ashiana Public School have 27 seats and 31 seats respectively for EWS students,but in both schools,26 seats still remain vacant.
KBDAV-7,DAV-15,Delhi Public School,Sector 40 and Strawberry Field World School,Sector 26 are among the few schools where all reserved seats have been filled.
The president of the Independent Schools Association (ISA),HS Mamik said,One of the main reasons for the EWS seats still lying vacant is the neighbourhood criteria proposed by the government itself that never saw the light of the day. There was a proposal to build up adequate number of schools within a distance of 1-3 km,such that free education for the underprivileged students can be fulfilled. When these students do not even have a bicycle to commute,how will they manage to go to schools in far off places?
Reimbursement is another issue that does not allow the parents to send their children to the private school,fearing the school might not refund the fees to them later, he added.
Also,many Non-Governmental Organisations are associated with Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan to promote education among the out of school students and their parents.
Talking to the Chandigarh Newsline,A K Ummat,chairman of Sai Tara Ummat Foundation said,We are trying our best to help every student get admission in some school. We keep getting applications and requests from parents who want their children to study in good schools. We then take the application forward to the respective school.