Well-known schools in Delhi will have to admit students who live within a 1-km radius, Education Minister Manish Sisodia said at a meeting with school and NGO representatives Monday.
The order has to be followed by all 285 schools which got land on concessional rates from the DDA and whose allotment letter stated that they will have to cater to students from their neighbourhood. A definition of what ‘neighbourhood’ comprises was, however, not given.
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Monday’s meeting was held after the L-G expressed reservations about the government’s stand, saying that fixing the neighbourhood criteria could be a problem. He also said there were 1,700 private schools in Delhi, of which 400 had got land from DDA. Of these, he said, 285 had the clause to admit students from the neighbourhood and having different policies for different sets of schools would be a problem.
The government, however, is not relenting. “We are not bringing in any new policy, only implementing what should have been implemented a long time ago. Schools got land on concessional rates on the condition that they would admit students from the neighbourhood first. Schools that did not get land on these conditions or did not get land from DDA at all are free to make their own guidelines,” said an official.
The move, private schools say, tramples on their autonomy. “The system of admission where schools are free to choose their admission criteria is the most refined. This exercise by the government is futile, ” said R C Jain of Action Committee for Recognised Unaided Schools.