NEARLY ONE-FOURTH of seats reserved for applicants under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) and disadvantaged categories are vacant in Delhi’s private schools because students did not report for admission, according to feedback received by the Directorate of Education (DOE).
Official records show that there were 48,122 seats available in private schools in the Capital under this category. Close to 12,600 have been marked as unreported. “These are especially in good/ reputed schools, there is no reason why parents should not report for admissions,” state the minutes of a DOE meeting held on August 16 to discuss the feedback from private schools.
The minutes show that the number of admissions completed so far under these categories is 31,726, while 1,725 are on the wait list. The Directorate conducted the fourth draw of lots for the seats on August 21.
According to the Right to Education Act, 25 per cent seats are to be reserved for students from the EWS and disadvantaged categories at the entry level. The number is calculated on the basis of general category admissions.
As per the minutes of the meeting, District Deputy Education officers have also been directed to check with parents of students under the general category if they were denied admission in seats lying vacant in that segment.
“If some parents (from the general category) approached schools and the school rejected them, that goes on to prove that the school deliberately curtailed general category admissions in order to avoid EWS/DG admissions at entry level. Action against such schools must be initiated,” the minutes state.
According to norms, children who do not report with documents to secure admission after their names have been picked in the draw of lots are marked as “unreported”.
Of the 13 education districts in Delhi, records show, the number of “unreported” cases is the highest in the North West (B) district (422), followed by West (311), south west (B) (298), East (200), South East (180) and North West A (160).
According to Khagesh Jha, a lawyer with Social Jurist, an NGO working for EWS admissions, “unreported” cases could also mean that parents have been turned away by schools or because incorrect information is available on the online admission portal.
“This data has not been verified by the DOE. They simply accept whatever is fed by the schools. In many such cases, parents have filed grievances online but they have still not been addressed. In some cases, the online admission portal has made errors in calculating the distance between the home and the school, due to which students have not been able to take admission,” Jha said.
There are still 988 applicants whose status has not been updated, and 302 have been given provisional admission. There are as many as 1,054 candidates who were rejected, records show.
“Directions have been given to DDEs to put the names of students, school-wise, on an Excel sheet and check from individual parents whether they reported to the respective schools or not. They have also been asked to expedite the process of those on the waiting list. Also, no school can reject admissions to those students who have been allotted seats. This can happen only if the deputy directors have given a written order. We will check this, as well,” said a senior DOE official.