Parents of 11 children, studying in a private school under the Economically Weaker Section/ Disadvantaged Group (EWS/DG) category in north Delhi, have been running pillar to post for the past few days. The reason: the school has asked them to seek admission elsewhere as it was shutting down.
The children were studying at Sant Parmanand Public School, Majlis Park, in north Delhi. The school is recognised by the Directorate of Education (DoE) and runs up to Class VIII.
School principal, Anita, said the school administration had informed all children that it would close in February. However, parents claimed that they were informed verbally about the decision only on March 31.
“The school building is old and we are shutting it for renovation. We had informed the children in February. The other (general category) students have been admitted to the two-three schools nearby. We had also informed the education department about the children under the 25% reserved category,” said Anita. She did not reply whether the decision had been communicated in writing.
Section 46 of the The Delhi School Education Rules, 1973, states that no managing committee shall close down a recognised school, not being an unaided minority school, or an existing class in such school, without giving full justification and without prior approval of the director, who shall, before giving such an approval, consult the Advisory Board.
According to education department officials, the school, which has about 100 students, had applied for closure and has not conducted admissions this year. An inspection of the school was carried out but a final decision on closure is ye to be taken.
DoE Director Saumya Gupta said many schools submit applications, but it takes time for them to reach the headquarters. “The application reaches the district office, and then me. I will have to check about this school,” she said.
Parents, meanwhile, are clueless about the future of their children. They said they tried to meet Education Minister Manish Sisodia and other education department officials, claiming that the children have been home for almost two weeks. “No notice was given to us. Had they informed us earlier, we would have applied to other schools. But now the new academic session has started. Why did they not put up the information on the notice board?” said Pradeep Kumar, whose son is in Class I.