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7,400 poor students admitted to public schools

By Our Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI, AUG. 25. In what can be termed as one of the first major achievements of the Sheila Dikshit Government, nearly 7,400 children from the weaker sections of society have been admitted to public schools under the 20 per cent quota for poor in the education sector. However, nearly 25 schools that have failed to fulfil their obligation in this regard are being served show cause notices which could even lead to their de-recognition by the Directorate of Education.

Insiders in the Delhi Government informed that reports had been compiled which indicated that 7,400 students had been admitted to various public schools across the Capital under this new scheme which came into effect from July this year. As the scheme was implemented late during this academic session, only 7,400 poor students could be admitted but this number is likely to touch nearly 40,000 next year. The Education Minister, Arvinder Singh Lovely, today reviewed the situation at a high level meeting held at the Directorate of Education where directions were issued to draw up the list of schools that had failed to implement the policy direction of the Government and also prepare a list of the those schools who had partially fulfilled the scheme criteria.

Sources said that around 75 schools could face strong action from the Directorate of Education including de-recognition if they did not comply and failed to come up with a satisfactory explanation. The Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit, who directed Mr. Lovely to ensure that the weaker sections also get an opportunity to join the mainstream along with other students of public schools, had taken up the matter of admission to poor students under this quota vigorously. Sources said that admission of 7,400 students from the poor strata of society was a big achievement as no such thing had happened in the past. This is going to open up a lot of opportunities for the poor students in future also and the Delhi Government is determined to expand this avenue further from the next academic session.

Sources said that 55 schools have still not filed their report about complying with the directions of the Directorate of Education in this regard. Another 100 schools are understood to have either complied in part or have not admitted poor students at all. The Government will have to confront these influential public schools as a number of them include big names like St. Columba's, St. Xavier, Modern School, Mother's International and Presentation Convent.

Those who have complied fully and admitted full quota of students include Springdales School, Dhaula Kuan and Pusa Road; India School; Apeejay International, Sheikh Sarai; Guru Harikishan Public School, Kalkaji; Sanskriti School and Amity International, Sheikh Sarai; and Delhi Public School, Dwarka. It is understood that Mr. Lovely and the Director (Education), Rajinder Kumar, had asked the Deputy Directors to ensure that all reports are submitted by the schools within this week. It was also conveyed to the officials that there was no need to buckle under pressure from any segment or group as the Government was committed to the upliftment of the poor students in the education sector, a promise that has already been made by the Congress-led United Progressive Government at the Centre.

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