7 of 25 private schools in south Delhi yet to fill EWS seats

The Times of India | 30 Aug 2017

New Delhi: Seven out of 25 private schools, which were part of the household survey of south Delhi, have not yet implemented the 25% reservation for students from economically weaker sections and disadvantaged groups (EWS/DG) as mandated by RTE Act 2009.

The Delhi Citizen's Handbook 2017 by Centre for Civil Society, released on Tuesday, highlighted that social inclusivity continues to remain a challenge across the city. Budget private schools (BPS) seem to be doing better in EWS inclusion as compared to other unaided private schools.

"Prioritising the aspect of inclusivity is one of the few aspects in RTE and all stakeholders have a crucial role to play in its implementation," the report stated. It added that six major challenges have been identified, including lack of awareness, gaps in application process, fake admissions, delay in reimbursement, inadequate support mechanisms and weak grievance redressal system.

The study analysed three aspects of EWS provisions under RTE Act. It came to the conclusion that "the non-BPS sample was cynical about EWS integration with their wards owing to their notion of negative influences and varied value systems."

Regarding perception towards the quota, the report stated that almost everybody was cynical about the scheme benefitting its targeted beneficiaries. Most seemed concerned about fake admissions. However, a majority of the parents (75% in BPS and 81.25% in non-BPS) had a positive view on the 25% reservation scheme.

The perception score on inclusivity index across BPS (0.833) families was significantly higher than non-BPS category (0.643). This means 83% of families from BPS sample had an overall positive attitude towards EWS inclusion as compared to just 64% in non-BPS sample. The report also cited that 69% of parents from non-BPS category agreed that EWS/DG category do not share same values and beliefs system as they do, while around 31% agreed from BPS category.

The report recommended reducing gap areas in delay in admissions stating that applications should be accepted through both online and offine mode and that the procedure must start early in September.

With 85% of the interviewed general category parents feeling strongly about prevalence of fake admissions, the report recommended discontinuation of requirement of income certificate as income proof. It added that the lengthy procedure of reporting and inspecting a possible fake admission needs to be changed by schools considering they have neither the resources nor the intent to do so.

It also called for transparency in the formula of calculating per-child expenditure and timely reimbursement and inclusion of costs for school uniform, books and stationery.

Read the complete story on The Times of India website.