Disabled child granted freeship: School falls in line
Date: Tue, 2011-03-08
The admissions process at Delhi schools may be long over but the controversies have dragged on. And another one of them has been laid to rest after MiD DAY reported the travails of a seven-year-old boy with disability, who belongs to the economically weaker sections.
Parents of the child were being forced to pay his fees by Kulachi Hansraj Model School, Ashok Vihar, though the boy is entitled to freeship under Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009.
After the story came out, the school authorities tendered an apology and finally exempted the child's fee.
Gaurav had secured admission at Kulachi Hansraj Model School in 2010 under both disabled and Economically Weaker Section (EWS) categories. He is 60 per cent disabled as he has been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy (with Spastic Quadriparesis and Mental Retardation) and studies in Manovikas Kendra, a wing for the disabled at the school. His father is a driver with a private agency.
Kamal Abrol, his father, who had mortgaged gold for his child's admission, then filed a complaint with the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) alleging that the school authorities were violating RTE rules as they had not exempted his son, a student of class I, who is 60 per cent disabled and falls in the EWS category as well, from paying the fee.
"Our school Kulachi Hansraj Manovikas Kendra, in which Gaurav was admitted, is a special project undertaken for the betterment of physically and mentally handicapped children. It is not recognised by the Directorate of Education (DoE), Delhi. However, fee concession is given in some deserving cases. This is to inform that the school management has agreed to grant full fee concession to Gaurav Abrol from now on," says the apology letter.
"This has come as a huge relief for me. I am grateful to everyone who helped me fight this battle against injustice and win," said a relieved Kamal Abrol.
The Delhi High Court Monday directed the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to submit its audit report on 25 elite private schools that had complained of facing a financial burden because of having to pay teachers higher salaries recommended by the 6th Pay Commission. Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Siddharth Mridul said: "CAG will have to submit its audit report by March 18. The Delhi government grievance department should also give us the details of complaint they have received from parents regarding fee hike issue in a year or two."
The court order came while hearing a petition filed by social jurist lawyer Ashok Agarwal. Agarwal said, "In clear violation of School Education Act, many of these schools did not offer 20 percent reservation to children from Economically Weaker Sections." Challenging the schools claim, Agarwal said Delhi's private schools that had complained they were reeling under the burden of having to pay teachers higher salaries are totally wrong.