Pune: The parents of children from economically weaker section (EWS) can heave a sigh of relief as the Mumbai High Court (HC) has ordered the schools, which had boycotted admissions, to now start admission against 25 per cent reservation under Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, on Thursday.
The High Court had issued an interim order stating that no coercive action can be taken against the schools in the Federation of School Associations on denying RTE admissions until the court stated otherwise. The schools had refused to give admissions because of pending amount to be reimbursed by the State government. However, now the High Court has cancelled its stay order and asked the schools to proceed with the admissions while the reimbursement case will continue in court.
Jagruti Dharmadhikari, State President, Independent English Schools Association (IESA), said, “The court has cancelled the stay on the RTE admission process, and thus, now we will have to give admissions to students under RTE, which we were earlier refusing. We were never against RTE admissions though we were fighting in order to get the reimbursement that we deserve.”
She further added, “The Education Department has misguided the court by giving them all the wrong figures for reimbursement. They said that they have refunded all the amount till the year 2015-16 while the reality is that they have only given a few schools the reimbursement only for the year 2015-16, and nothing before that. We will be putting forth all the documents and the correct figures again in the court during the next hearing.”
In the next hearing, the Federation of Schools Association will be submitting a total of 237 schools whose reimbursement is yet to be cleared. While the association had earlier submitted only 41 schools name, names of an additional 196 schools will be given now.
RTE activist Sharad Javadekar of Akhil Bharatiya Samajwadi Adhyapak Sabha hailed the High Court decision. He said, “It was not necessary for High Court to keep the case hanging for so long, as many admissions were stalled, which has affected children and parents from EWS. Nevertheless, now that the court has ordered to start admissions, the schools should start the procedure without delaying it any further. Also, schools should not trouble parents during the admissions.”
“So far, many schools were denying admissions to parents stating that their case is pending with HC. Even though they were not fighting any case. It had become an excuse to not entertain the parents. Now this will not happen,” added Javadekar.
RTE seats in Pune 16,437
Seats allotted in 1st lottery 10,284
Admissions in 1st round 6,939
Seats vacant after 1st round 3,345
Seats to be allotted in 2nd lottery 6,153