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Delhi: Autistic kid picked through draw of lots, school denies admission

Child rights body issues showcause to DPS Dwarka, says admit 6-year-old

Written by Sukrita Baruah | New Delhi |
Updated: September 11, 2019 7:14:43 am
Autistic kid picked through draw of lots, school denies admission A six-year-old boy with autism had been allotted a seat in the KG class at Delhi Public School, Dwarka. (Express photo: Oinam/Representational Image)

A prominent city school has denied admission to two children with special needs who were allotted the school through the education department’s draw of lots process, stating that it is not “feasible,” given the existing infrastructure in the school.

All city schools recognised by the Directorate of Education are required to reserve 3% of their total seats at entry-level classes for children with special needs (CWSN). These seats are filled through a centralised draw of lots by the education department.

A six-year-old boy with autism had been allotted a seat in the KG class at Delhi Public School, Dwarka, through the sixth round of draw of lots on July 18. In a letter dated July 29 to the education department, the school said his admission, along with that of another CWSN applicant who had been allotted a seat at the pre-school level, was not “feasible”.

“It is to inform you on the subject that both children were called to school for necessary medical examination and evaluation by our school doctor and counsellor and it was recommended by them that mainstreaming of the children is not possible keeping the existing infrastructure of school in view,” read the letter signed by the school’s principal. The principal could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

In a February circular, the education department had laid down grounds on which a school may reject a candidate selected through draw of lots: Non-submission of valid proofs of date of birth, residence and income or disability; mismatch between online details and documentary evidence; and duplicate entry.

When contacted, the mother of the six-year-old boy said: “A separate category has been created for these children, but admission is not being given and seats will remain empty. If the school doesn’t have infrastructure, why was it listed as an option for children with special needs?”

The boy is currently studying in a private pre-school which does not have classes beyond KG. “We wanted to get him admitted to a full-fledged school this year or we will have to go through the entire struggle to get him admitted in Class I next year,” she said.

The school has also been pulled up by the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights. “… no such reason as stated by the school stands acceptable on any ground… Keeping in mind the welfare of students, the commission directs you to show a cause for such denial of admission and duly admit them,” read a showcause notice to the school.

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