State Government will ensure that every desirous child gets a seat, says Minister

Delhi Education Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely on Tuesday asserted that the State Government would ensure that every child desirous of admission in the Capital gets a seat, though it may not be able to ensure a school of choice.

Addressing a press conference, the Minister said there should be no reason for the parents to panic as the Government would ensure transparency and adherence to rules in both general and economically weaker section (EWS) admissions.

The Minister said as complaints have been received about schools not accepting EWS forms, it has now been decided that parents would also be able to submit the forms in the office of the Deputy Directors till January 16. He said special staff has been deputed for this purpose in each district.

Mr. Lovely said the schools have been directed to abide by the admission schedule meticulously. “The issue and receipt of admission forms began on January 2 and would continue up to January 16. The admission process would be completed by March 31 and thereafter a review would be undertaken by Directorate of Education to determine the number of vacant seats which would again be advertised and filled,'' he said.

As a new initiative, a District Admission Monitoring Committee would also be constituted in every district. Headed by the Deputy Director, it would monitor the admission process and redress the complaints. The committees have been instructed to meet the complainants between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on all days to redress their grievances.

The Minister said to expedite the process of submission of forms, the schools have also been directed not to insist on domicile certificate, attested copies of birth certificate, and income certificate from disadvantage group belonging to the SC/ST/OBC category.

However, certificates like income certificate and address proof are essential for the benefit under EWS admission, he added.

So far this year, Mr. Lovely said as many as 137 complaints have been received as against 642 by the same period last year. “A majority of these complaints have been resolved. They primarily pertained to refusal to issue/accept EWS forms or insistence of submission of attested certificates; charging higher price for admission forms by clubbing the forms with the prospectus; violation of admission schedule, given by Directorate of Education; or violation of admission criteria or guidelines,'' he said.

The Minister said strict action, which included de-recognition of the institution, would be taken against schools violating the admission guidelines.

He said the schools were free to adopt the guidelines and points system by including various criteria such as by giving weightage to issues like proximity, siblings and the like, but they would have to adhere to this.

“Ideally, as per the Right to Education Act, a lottery system should be there. But since that would have caused problem to people who have a child in school and would have wanted the other to go to the same school, we allowed the setting of criteria. However, the schools are free to adopt a lottery system if they so desire. But the lottery would be videographed and the parents would be able to access the tapes. The schools have also been allowed a management quota, but if they are found taking donations or money for admissions, then too action would be taken against them.''

The Minister said in the case of minority institution run schools too, it would be mandatory for them to set a criteria and follow it.