The government, with the help of NGOs, is trying to end confusion for parents who face difficulties in getting admission for their wards under the EWS and disadvantaged group category under the Right
The government, with the help of NGOs, is trying to end confusion for parents who face difficulties in getting admission for their wards under the EWS and disadvantaged group category under the Right to Education Act.
The Centre for Social Equity and Inclusion, a rights NGO which has been involved in RTE implementation on the ground, believes schools are not taking any responsibility as the process was done centrally. “Some children are shown as multiple entries, we are not sure whether they will get admission. There are other cases which are showing that the data is not proper. If there is any mismatch between the form and documents, the school is not taking any responsibility and asking parents to go to the DoE,” CSEI’s Annie Namala said.
“The administration has not put up any helplines or helpdesks and no information or support was available in the department. So a lot of NGOs opened up helplines and helpdesks. The state boards have taken measures knowing the kind of children that will apply under this section. We need more support, helplines and more centres run by the government,” she said.
Ms Namala also pointed out that there is a lack of categorisation and lack of understanding of the need for inclusion within the administration, despite one of the purposes of Section 12 being the presence of diversity in classrooms and children from different backgrounds studying together. “When we do not ensure that happens, the purpose of the section is lost,” Ms Namala said, adding: “Inclusion is a mutual benefit for all children; it is not that we are getting these poor children to study with better-off children.”
Indus Action, which works in tandem with the government for the implementation of Section 12(1)(c) of RTE, has received nearly 300 grievances from parents. These grievances range from demand for money to stopping parents from entering the school premises. Though they cannot instruct the schools to follow orders, Indus Action has been able to resolve over 100 grievances through dialogue with schools by showing correct circulars issued by the DoE, showing clarifications, etc. Indus Action, which has helped in the completion of about 20,000 online forms in 2016, is also helping file grievances on the DoE portal. It encourages parents to approach schools in large groups and get acknowledgement receipts. Indus Action’s Anurag Kundu, however, said that the situation looks positive.
In 2016, the department of education set up a grievance redressal mechanism on the portal (edudel.nic.in) where parents could fill the online admission form. Using this portal, parents can lodge their concerns, which are being resolved on a case-by-case basis, said Atishi Marlena, the adviser to Delhi deputy chief minister and education minister Manish Sisodia. The deputy directors of education have been contacting almost every family, said Ms Marlena. “One DDE received 80 complaints and her office was taking steps to find out what had happened,” she said. In cases of discrepancy in documents, the DDE issues a direction saying no admission is to be given.
The government apprehended problems with the admission process, said Ms Marlena, and thus decided to resolve all issues of the families in the first list and then draw a second list to allot the remaining seats. The process may be repeated up to the third list, she said.