A 27-year-old single mother was allegedly denied an admission form for her seven-year-old son at St Lawrence School in Vashi. The woman, who works as a sales manager at a private company, posted a video on social media in which another woman, who is purportedly the principal of the school, is seen saying the school “cannot handle children of single parents”.
The school’s management issued a statement saying it will “look into the matter and follow due process”. Sujata Mohite, a resident of Nerul, said she was seeking admission for her son in Class II at the school since April.
“I had called the institute and asked if they were accepting admissions. When they said yes, I went to the school but they denied me a form and told me that there was no vacancy in Class II,” she said. Mohite said she separated from her husband four years ago and was sending her child to the Poddar School in Seawoods.
She said she was willing to provide a no-objection certificate claiming that the boy was in her custody. When Mohite tried applying a few days later, she was told that the school was not accepting any new admissions.
“I asked my friends to pose as a couple and contact the school. They were told that admissions are open and there is a vacancy. On Thursday, I went to the school along with my friends, where principal Sairy Kanade told me to my face that since I was a single parent, they couldn’t admit my son,” she alleged. In the video that Mohite posted, a woman purported to be Kanade, is seen saying, “We can’t handle single parents’ kids. We ask children to bring both parents. Single parents cause a lot of problems.”
Despite repeated attempts, The Indian Express could not meet Kanade as her staff said she was “busy”. The parent company, Ryan International, issued a statement, “As an educational institution, we do not discriminate in admitting students under any criteria nor do we have any such policy for parents…as the video has just come to our attention, we are investigating… will take appropriate action…”