The admission process at the St Josephs School,Khadki has been stayed by the Zilla Parishad following a controversy. Parents whose children were allegedly denied admission are threatening to stage a sit-in protest in front of the school from Thursday.
On February 18,a parents-teachers meeting was held in the school,where around 800 parents had come. The school principal had announced that in open category,57 students will be admitted and students who stay in 1 km distance from the school will be given preference. He also said that the list of selected candidates will be displayed on February 22, said Shiazad Indadullah,who has applied for admission of his son in Lower Kindergarten (LKG). But the list was displayed only on February 25 where 50 students were named, said Shaizad.
The list was taken off within an hour. Within an hour they took off the list and the officials said that a new list will be displayed on the school notice board by noon. But no list was displayed. By afternoon the principal came out along with a teacher carrying a box. The box had 168 chits with receipt numbers of the short-listed candidates, said Amrit Pillai. The chits had receipt numbers of 70 candidates who were earlier rejected under the RTE quota,50 candidates whose names were earlier displayed on the list and also names of students under the 3 km radius from the school, said Pillai.
The parents alleged that out of the 168 candidates whose numbers were in the box,only 46 were selected and not even one student belonged to the open category even though the seats were for all.
On Tuesday,Zilla Parishad Education Extension officer KD Bhujbal and some social activists visited the school. We went to investigate the matter and as per the education officers orders,all admission procedures in the school have been stayed till further orders, said K D Bhujbal. However,the 19 admissions done under the EWS 25 per cent reserved quota remain valid, he added.
When contacted,Fr Louis Dmello,Principal,St Josephs School,said,The issue arose because candidates belonging to EWS category who do not come under 1 km radius cannot be given admission under the reserved quota. So they were treated like open candidates.
He added,This is a minority institute,hence,as per government rule,preference is given to students from a certain community. There were more than 300 applications for open candidates with only 40 seats and since we are not conducting any screening tests,the lottery system was used to select candidates. This resulted in some 17 EWS candidates getting admission. This caused tension among EWS parents and open category parents. We have suspended the admission process for a month.