Agra | Agra school ‘dismisses’ girl admitted under RTE Act

Agra: A convent school here allegedly cancelled the admission of a 3-year-old girl in nursery class after she had been admitted under the provisions of the Right to Education (RTE) Act because her father asked the school administration for a receipt against the school diary which he had to buy.

Ravi Mahore, father of the girl, Bhomi, has a bicycle repair shop and the family lives at Tota ka Taal locality in Lohamandi in the city. He brought the matter to the notice of local RTI activist Dhanwan Gupta and thereafter they met education department officials to lodge a complaint against Holy Public School, which is also located in Lohamandi.

“Bhomi was admitted at the school under RTE Act. However, we asked for a receipt for purchase of the school diary. She went to school for just three days and on the fourth we were told her admission had been cancelled,” said Ravi, talking to TOI. The school opened for the current session on July 4 and the family was informed that Bhomi’s admission had been cancelled the following day. In the previous session, she attended two days of school before it shut for the holidays.

“I contacted the school principal but he did not give any valid reason to explain why my daughter was not eligible. She had been selected on the basis of procedures followed by the education department. Even her date of birth, May 28, 2013, means she is eligible for admission to nursery class under the norms,” the father added.

The father and Dhanwan Gupta then approached basic shiksha adhikari (BSA) Dharmendra Saxena and other local officials, but no action has been taken against the school so far.”The parents are financially weak and can’t send their daughter to school on their own. Despite laws, there are many hurdles for poor citizens who want to send their children to good schools,” Gupta said.

 School principal Namrata Agrawal denied the allegations. “Bhomi has not attended school for a single day as her form had been sent to the BSA’s office in April to clarify if she was eligible on the basis of age. We are still awaiting a nod from the BSA. Why would I stop children who had applied through the Act? We have allowed the maximum number of students in the city under RTE,” she said.
School chairman and president of Association of Progressive Schools of Agra (APSA) Sanjay Tomar said that the girl was stopped from attending school due to age issue. “The family has been asked to sort this with the BSA, after which the girl can attend school,” he added.
 Agra division assistant director (basic education) Girijesh Chaudhary told TOI that he was unaware of the matter. “I will look into it and try to sort it with the school management and parents,” Chaudhary said, adding that action will be taken in case of any wrong decision, as it concerned the future of the girl child. BSA Dharmendra Saxena was not available for comments.

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