Friday, 15 January 2010
Back Ground note for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) Quota (2008)
There are 1160 public schools in Delhi, out of which around 397 schools have allotted land at subsidized rates from the Government on the condition of providing free education to underprivileged children. The agreement between the Government and schools availing of concessionary land rates was that the underprivileged children would be given fair and equal education without any prejudice and discrimination. However, no school has abided by this agreement.
Social Jurist filed a petition (W.P. (C) 3156/2002) in the Delhi High Court and a judgment was passed on 20th January 2004 which ordered schools who had been allotted land from Government, to give admission to children of unprivileged sections of society. The Court further ordered that in case its order was not followed, these schools would be derecognized, and lease deed provided to the schools would be cancelled. The High Court had also instructed the Education Department of Delhi to immediately issue rules and regulation pertaining to the admission procedure of unprivileged children.
Success in admission for session 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08
In July 2005 Delhi Govt. has published an order related to admission of the children belonging to economically weaker section in many newspapers, in which they have mentioned the guidelines for such admission. Therefore we realized that it was a good opportunity for the poor by which they can also give free and good education to their children in public schools.
Therefore for the admission for session2005-06 we spread the awareness among the people about such orders. In session 2005-06 we were able to admit around 45 children in three public schools of north east district. For session 2006-07 and 2007-08 we started off by spreading the awareness of this reservation clause in the JJ Clusters and Resettlement Colonies of North East, East and South Districts of Delhi. Many parents came forward to get ready for the admission process.
The whole lobby of management of different schools wanted to take stay from the courts on this reservation clause. Parents of the ‘rich’ children felt uneasy about having ‘such’ children in the same class; the teachers assumed that these children were not capable. The management of the public schools was under such resistance to educate Indian children was unimaginable!
The admission which were done in the sessions were not so easy The parents faced many problems in seeking the admission under this quota. The parents were not allowed to enter the school even. Several complaints were sent to the Deputy Director of Education of the Districts, and Director of Education. After filing the complaints when no action was taken against the school applications under the Right to Information Act (RTI), 2005 were filed for follow-up of complaints. All these problems came in to notice of the Chief Information commissioner during the hearing of those cases, therefore commission has also recommended departmental inquiry against some deputy directors of education.
Eventually, in the AY 2006-07 around 180 children and in AY 2007-08 around 400 children were able to get admission in public schools, who would have never dreamt of going to such schools.
Our efforts regarding admission for current session
We have been successfully working on this issue for three years. Therefore, now we wish to take up this issue at a wider level through out the Capital, so that we can spread awareness among the people in every part of Delhi. As a first step in this direction, we drafted a manual comprising each and every detail regarding the admission process.
We have organised a meeting in collaboration with Nehru memorial Museum and Library at Teen Murti and invited many NGOs working in Delhi, to discuss on the current policy of the Delhi Government on access of Economically Weaker Families to public schools. This meeting was also attended by Mr Wajahad Habibullah (Chief Information Commissioner), Mrs. Shanta Sinha (Chairperson, Protection of Child Rights Commission) and Mrs Mridula Mukherjee (Director, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library) Mr. Shekhar Singh (former convener of NCPRI)
Collaboration with Delhi Government: We had organized awareness camp with collaboration of Delhi Govt. in many DC Office complexes in different district. Hundreds of people approached to these camps regarding the admission procedure.
Help line Number: We have started a help line to guide the procedure for admission under EWS category. This help line Number was published in Newspapers like Navbharat Times, Amar Ujala, Dainik Bhaskar. In a span of two months we received around 1000 phone calls from all over Delhi regarding the enquiry of admissions process under EWS quota. The parents were guided about the procedure of admission and simultaneously they were guided about the process of complaints also.
Networking and Advocacy with NGOs: We are also networking with other NGOs like YMCA, ISST, Prabhatara, Amba Foundation, Social Jurist, Astha, Bal Vikas Dhara and Satarak Nagrik Sangathan in Delhi to extend this awareness programme at a wider scale.
Voluntary support by community people: The children who were admitted in the Public schools under EWS quota last year now their parents start mobilizing other people in their community.
Camps organised in different colonies: We organised awareness camps in different colonies and assisted them in completing their documentation process.
Success of this year in field of admission under economically weaker section
1. During our work experience in last three years we realized that the prescribed seats under EWS quota was hardly filled up, but this year especially in two districts i.e. East and North-East (Trans Yamuna) awareness spread among the parents by Pardarshita was to such an extent that, in each school of these two district more than 200 parents approached to the schools, for the admission of their child under this quota, which is quite remarkable in itself.
2. We assisted the parents in filing their complaints in the education department and as a result more than 500 complaints were filed in the department.
3. All these complaints were brought under notice of Hon’ble High court during the hearing held on 19.2.08.and with the result of this High Court had ordered the education department to file the status report of all these complaints. The education department has submitted the status report on 11.3.08
4. During the hearing conducted on 12.3.08 regarding this matter the Hon’ble Court has ordered to issue a contempt notice against these defaulted schools.
5. Now some school authorities are inviting parents for the admission.
6. In current session i.e. 2008-09 more than 300 students have been admitted in public schools.