Amid EWS fee row, HRD Ministry asks for details of students in govt, pvt land schoolshttps://indianexpress.com/article/education/amid-ews-fee-row-hrd-ministry-asks-for-details-of-students-in-govt-pvt-land-schools-5667665/

Amid EWS fee row, HRD Ministry asks for details of students in govt, pvt land schools

While no student has been asked to leave yet, mostly due to external pressure, their situation is uncertain as the RTE Act, under which EWS admissions take place, specifies free education only up till Class VIII.

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Officials had suggested that many children facing the current problem might not be under the RTE Act, as the rules had been notified by the ministry in 2014. (Representational Image)

The HRD Ministry Tuesday directed the Delhi government’s Directorate of Education (DoE) to provide separate data on how many EWS students have been admitted in Delhi schools on government allotted land and private land.

The directive came during a meeting between DoE and MHRD officials after students admitted under the EWS category in several private schools — upon completing Class VIII — have been told by authorities that they would no longer be eligible for free education. While no student has been asked to leave yet, mostly due to external pressure, their situation is uncertain as the RTE Act, under which EWS admissions take place, specifies free education only up till Class VIII. In Delhi, admissions under the Act began in 2011.

“We have only collected consolidated data on EWS admissions across all private schools. We have been asked to bifurcate the data into how many such admissions have taken place in schools on public land and those on private land since 2011 and to submit it within the next few days. How this will be used was not part of the discussion…,” said a DoE official.

MHRD officials earlier told The Indian Express that the current situation was peculiar to Delhi given that EWS admissions have been taking place before the RTE Act — with around 350 private schools built on public land at concessional rates required to do so since the early 2000s.

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Officials had suggested that many children facing the current problem might not be under the RTE Act, as the rules had been notified by the ministry in 2014.

The DoE official said that in cases of schools built on public land, “there is no ambiguity in the matter” since they are supposed to provide free education till Class XII under the Delhi School Education Act and Rules.