New Delhi: Expensive private schools are no longer out of bounds for the economically weaker sections. The Supreme Court recently confirmed the Constitutional validity of 25 per cent quota for the economically weaker sections and now a new rule means more seats are available to children from under privileged families.
Ashok Kumar can rest easy now. After a 2-year-long legal battle, the daily wage-earner's son can finally be admitted to a private school. This has been possible after the Directorate of Education passed a notification ordering all private schools which were allotted land by the government to reserve 15 per cent seats for poor children.
According to the new rule, schools allotted government land have to now reserve 15 per cent quota at all levels, which is above the 25 per cent at the entry-level following the Right to Education norms. Minority schools, too, have to reserve 15 per cent seats at the entry-level.
Delhi schools that had been allotted government land already had a 20 per cent EWS quota up to Class XII in place. But after the Right to Education Act became functional in 2010, these schools abruptly stopped using the scheme.
Political rivals are now accusing the government of having reduced the quota. BJP State President Vijender Gupta said, "They've reduced the quota and are fooling people."
The schools, however, remain vehemently opposed. Pressure from schools could have been one of the reasons for the delay as the court had ordered the DOE in September 2012, due to which some may have lost out on admissions. But there are many who believe that this decision, although late, will open avenues for many under privileged children.