Playschools may have to make more room for poor children soon. On Monday, the Delhi High Court directed that playschools which had received land at concessional rates from the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) adhere to the condition of taking in 25 per cent students from Economically Weaker Sections (EWS).
The court of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw also directed the DDA to cancel leases of playschools which have not fulfilled the EWS condition.
“We direct the Directorate of Education (DoE) to, on yearly basis, ensure that all schools including nursery schools, which have been allotted land on the condition of admitting 25 per cent of the students in schools established thereon from weaker sections of the society and on freeship basis, abide thereby… if it finds any school to be in breach, immediately send intimation thereof to the DDA. We also direct the DDA to immediately, on receipt of such intimation, initiate the process of cancellation of leases,” the court held.
The court also asked the Lieutenant-Governor to look into the issue of how to balance government reimbursement given to schools which give freeships to EWS students under the Right to Education (RTE) Act and the obligation of the schools which received land on concessional rates.
It pulled up the DoE and the Delhi government for not taking steps to ensure that playschools were admitting EWS students. It noted that the scheme “has, rather than achieving the purpose of benefiting the weaker sections of the society, benefited the allottees of such land”.