The Directorate of Education issued an order to the Play-schools built on Govt. lands to reserve 25% for the Economically Backward Section students, but the problem that lies with the Education Department is that they are unaware of the number of schools and their location that exists. Looking at this, the DoE issued another order on January 18 asking “chairpersons/presidents of all societies/trusts running nursery/pre-primary/ playschools/ creches” to fill a proforma with the name of the school and society, the address, contact number of the society chairperson, details of the number of children given admission between 2016 and 2018, as well as the number of EWS applicants who were admitted.
The Order stated: “Delhi was among the first cities in the country to implement EWS reservation in schools — before the Right to Education Act was notified. This happened because, at the time of allotting land to these institutions, DDA had made it mandatory that a percentage of students from the EWS category be admitted, in return for getting land on concessional rates. But activists and parents were forced to go to court to get their rights as schools ignored the condition for many years.”
Education Director Sanjay Goel asserted “This land was allotted by the Delhi Development Authority without consulting the government. The condition in lease documents that they will have to reserve seats for those from EWS families was also introduced by them. Since the directorate is responsible for educational institutions, we issued the notification for parents’ welfare after the Delhi High Court ruled that these schools and education trusts will have to fulfill their lease requirements. Our officials have some historical knowledge about where some of these schools are located and are sending them the notice. We are also conducting a survey to pinpoint the location of each of these schools/institutions. It is a challenge for sure.”
The matter was identified when lawyer and activist Khagesh Jha filed an RTI in 2016 where he realized that the government does not have a comprehensive list of these schools or how applicants can approach them.
A DDA official informed they will be able to provide a list of addresses of the schools, also monitor whether schools are admitting EWS applicants in their institute.