Directorate of Education, Delhi Government has recently issued Guidelines for Admission to Pre-primary/Class I in Sarvodaya Vidyalayas dated 27 Feb 2012 . This guideline seeks to reserve 15% seats for SC; 7.5% for ST; 3% seats for PH; 2% for wards of employee of Directorate of Education. While this allocation may look very reasonable, however, to our amazement, this is utterly against the mandate of the RTE Act 2009.
Such a reservation can not be permitted under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (in short RTE Act, 2009). What will happen to the right of every child to seek admission in the neighbourhood schools? What will happen if the category for whom reservation is made doesn't live in a certain neighbourhood? Is the Government going to bring them from some other corner of the city? Will that not be against the concept of neighbourhood schools? What will happen to children from disadvantaged sections and those from weaker sections as defined in the RTE Act?
To me this amounts to introducing a screening process of some kind which is actually against the spirit of RTE Act and is punishable under the law. This basic exercise should have been done by the Directorate officials before issuing such an illogical and contradictory provisions in the Guidelines.
I am sure the officials are well aware about the provisions of the RTE Act which mandates in section 3 that every child from 6-14 years has a right to free and compulsory education in the neighbourhood schools till the completion of elementary education. Therefore, screening processes of this nature should not be used to deny admission to children since this would be violation of the RTE Act 2009
I strongly support our colleague Mr. Ashok Agarwal who has challenged these guidelines and this would be in fitness of things that the guidelines be suitably amended/modified.
Subhash Chandra Vashishth