Friday, June 27, 2014
DELHI GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS DENY ADMISSIONS TO HUNDREDS OF STUDENTS IN CLASSES IX AND XI DESPITE HAVING VALID TCS
The Director of Education
Government of NCT of Delhi
Old Secretariat Building, Civil Lines
June 27, 2014
Subject: Arbitrary denial of admissions to hundreds of students in Classes IX and XI despite having valid Transfer certificates
I am regularly receiving complaints from students having cleared Classes VIII or X from government/recognised schools and possessing valid transfer certificates duly counter-signed by the Education Officer being arbitrarily refused admissions in classes IX and XI by the Delhi Government schools.
Most of these students have cleared classes VIII or X either from recognised schools in Delhi or from government/recognised schools outside Delhi. They all possess validly counter-signed transfer-certificates, yet they are being denied admission. Seemingly, this is because the Directorate has come up with an absurd admission-test policy for students from recognised schools and out-station students seeking admission to Delhi Government schools in Classes IX and XI, which is totally unfounded and baseless. We understand that on May 2, 2014, the Directorate held an admission-test for class IX without even giving wide publicity, wherein only 33-35 students out of 400 were declared qualified. The unqualified students were denied admission, thereby being deprived of their future-education. We fail to understand the rationale behind such an illogical exclusionist policy.
It is submitted that there is no justification as to why students having valid transfer-certificates should be denied admission or subjected to admission-tests. With respect to Class IX, as the RTE Act, 2009 mandates automatic promotion till completion of elementary education, students automatically become eligible for admission to Class IX by implication. There is no justification as to why a student having cleared Class VIII as a matter of right should not be admitted to class IX. Merely because a student is seeking inter-state or inter-school transfer, generally on genuine grounds, does not mean that impediments should be designed to prevent him or her from continuing education.
With respect to Class XI, even the CBSE does not permit re-admission to a student to Class X who has once cleared Class X. Thus, a student once having cleared Class X clears it for good. In such a circumstance, when a student cannot even go back and repeat class X, denial of admission to Class XI practically means denial of further continuation of education and spoiling his or her career.
It must be further borne in mind that certain students seek migration on grounds such as their schools being only upto class VIII or X, financial constraint preventing them from further affording the fee of private recognised school, inter-state transfer of guardians or other genuine grounds. Further, one cannot lose sight of the fact that majority of the students opting for government schools belong to deprived and vulnerable sections of the society. A large number of these students are girls and many are Muslims. The Directorate’s action amounts to creating hurdles in their path of continuing education and virtually throwing them out of the education system as they usually have no alternatives. Needless to say, such an action, besides being unjust, arbitrary, illegal, unfair and unethical, also goes against the letter and spirit of the Constitution of India which guarantees to every person Right to Education as a Fundamental Right. It further goes contrary to the provisions of the Delhi School Education Act, 1973.
It is therefore strongly demanded that this policy of denial of admission to students in classes IX and XI or arbitrarily subjecting them to admission-tests must be stopped outrightly. All students having valid Transfer-certificates of Class VIII/X passed must be granted admission to Class IX/XI in Delhi Government schools in the academic year 2014-15. Failing to consider our demand may force us to hold a protest-demonstration in front of your office.
Ashok Agarwal, Advocate
Advisor, Social Jurist
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
PM Modi ji has on one had pledged to work for the poor and improve healthcare and school education standards and on the other hand has moved to reform labour laws for "conductive environment for investors" through flexible mechanisms like "hiring and firing". These are two self contradictory stands. Modi ji perhaps ignoring the link between these two. Job security and decent working conditions of the workers alone can ensure quality health care and school education for their family members. "Hire and Fire Policy" would only lead to further deterioration of the conditions of the working people.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
ENACT A NATIONAL LEGISLATION TO MANDATE PRIVATE HOSPITALS ON PUBLIC LANDS ALLOTTED AT CONCESSIONAL RATES TO PROVIDE FREE TREATMENT TO EWS PATIENTS - SOCIAL JURIST WRITES TO HEALTH MINISTER HARSH VARDHAN
Shri Harsh Vardhan
Hon’ble Minister of Health and Family Welfare
Government of India
New Delhi: 110001
Subject: Request for enacting a national legislation to mandate private hospitals on public lands allotted at concessional rates to provide free treatment to EWS patients
Through this letter, I wish to draw your attention to a vital issue concerning the right of poor patients to free treatment in various identified private hospitals in Delhi. The Hon’ble High Court of Delhi in its judgment dated 22.03.2007 in a PIL titled Social Jurist vs.GNCT, Delhi [W.P. (C) No.2866/2002] had held that all the 20 hospitals involved in the writ petition which had been allotted lands at concessional rates and all other identically situated hospitals shall treat 25% OPD and 10% IPD patients belonging to economically weaker section of the society completely free of charge in all respects (Emphasis supplied). This High Court Order was upheld by the Hon’ble Supreme Court vide its Order dated 01.09.2011 in SLP(C) No.18599 of 2007.
In terms of the said judgment, 49 private hospitals in Delhi had been identified and directed to provide free treatment to 10% IPD and 25% OPD patients belonging to EWS category by the Government of NCT of Delhi. Out of these, four hospitals, Mool Chand Hospital, St. Stephen’s Hospital, Sitaram Bhartiya Institute of Science and Research and Rockland Hospital, Qutub Institutional Area (Foundation for Applied Research in Cancer) preferred writ petitions in the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi, which have been decided vide the common judgment dated 28.04.2014 in Moolchand Khairati Ram Trust vs. Union of India and ors. [W.P. (C) No. 1478/2012] and connected petitions [W.P. (C) No. 3737/2012, W.P(C) NO. 3792/2013 and W.P (C)No. 7183/2013], whereby the Hon’ble High Court has exempted the said hospitals from providing free treatment to EWS patients on the alleged ground that the lease-deeds of these hospitals did not contain any condition for providing free treatment to EWS patients, despite the fact that land was allotted to these Hospitals by government agencies at concessional rates.
It is submitted that by virtue of the said judgment, the hospitals which have taken public land at throw-away prices have been unreasonably benefited, whereas the poor people of the country have been hit hard. Further, it is apprehended that following the reasoning in the said judgment, apart from these four hospitals, nearly fifteen more hospitals may stop providing free treatment to EWS patients. If so happens, poor patients will lose over three hundred free beds and free OPD facilities in these hospitals. It is submitted that following the said judgment, B.L. Kapoor Hospital, which had earlier been treating EWS patients free of cost has completely stopped all kinds of free treatment to EWS patients, including continuation of treatment of admitted in-patients, admission of new patients, OPD facilities and dialysis to its existing patients.
The Hon’ble High Court has, however, held that the state action of imposing the condition of free treatment upon these hospitals in public interest would have been valid if the same was done through a legislation or had legislative backing. Attention is invited to para 63 of the judgment in this regard:
“Thus, this Court only seeks to emphasise that while any endeavour to bring the
Directive Principles to fruition is laudable, such effort must be by way of legislation, especially when rights guaranteed under Part III are likely to be infringed through such effort. Examples of such legislations in pursuance of Directive Principles are the Right to Education Act, The Essential Commodities Act, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and the National Food Security Act etc.
Whilst the State’s effort to maximise access to public health systems at no cost or minimum cost is undeniably in the public interest, such objective has to be achieved within the framework of the Constitution, through the route of legislation. In the present case, the route taken by the respondent does not accord with Constitution.”
It is therefore requested and urged that a legislation be enacted to legally obligate these hospitals to provide completely free treatment in all respects to a minimum 25% OPD and 10% IPD patients belonging to EWS category. Further, such legislation should also address those private hospitals on public lands across the country, which have been enjoying the public legacy without any corresponding obligations to provide any free treatment and obligate them to provide free treatment on similar lines.
Ashok Agarwal, Advocate
Advisor, Social Jurist
Member, Delhi High Court-appointed EWS Monitoring Committee
Thursday, June 5, 2014
IMPLEMENT UNIFORM 2 YEARS’ PRE-PRIMARY SYSTEM IN ALL GOVERNMENT/LOCAL-BODY-RUN SCHOOLS ACROSS INDIA - AIPA WRITES TO PM NARENDRA MODI
Shri Narendra Modi
Hon’ble Prime Minister
Government of India
South Block, Raisina Hill
June 5, 2014
Subject: Request for implementing uniform 2 years’ pre-primary system in all Government/local-body-run schools across India
This is to draw your kind attention to the abysmal lack of pre-primary schooling in the government and local body-run schools in our country, which are the only hope for the children belonging to poor sections of the society. Due to this omission, the children studying in government schools, most of them from weaker sections of the society are deprived of the opportunity of pre-primary education and placed at a much disadvantageous situation vis-a-vis their counter-parts studying in private schools. Almost all private schools run two years pre-primary classes whereas there are either no pre-primary classes or only a one year pre-primary class in government schools.
According to a newspaper report, there appears to be an ongoing controversy between the HRD Ministry and the Ministry for Women and Child Development as to whether pre-primary education should be a part of the mainstream school administered by the HRD Ministry or ofanganwadis administered by the Women and Child Development Ministry. It is humbly urged that pre-primary schooling must be directly under the HRD Ministry.
At present, only in Delhi, some Sarvodaya Vidyalayas and a handful of MCD schools are running one year pre-primary class, for 4+ year-olds, in contrast to private schools that admit 3+ children for 2 years’ pre-primary classes. There are also some exclusive nursery schools in Delhi run by the MCD, admitting 4+ year-olds. However, these schools admit only a limited number of students and deny admission to the rest on the ground of shortage of seats. As we understand, the other states are completely out of picture in regard to pre-primary education.
At present, the state-policy with respect to Early Child-Care and Education (ECCE) is to admit children below six years to anganwadis. However, the anganwadis are not in any manner equipped to teach children and cannot be mistaken for alternatives to pre-primary classes in mainstream-schools. In the absence of any infrastructure or man-power, it would be preposterous to expect them to teach the children. Moreover, the anganwadi-workers are over-burdened with too many responsibilities to be able to address the needs of the ECCE, besides not being trained to do so. It must be borne in mind that pre-primary education is a specialised task involving handling of tiny tots of very young minds and requires especially qualified teachers.
It is submitted that this kind of mismatch between private and government school systems reinforces discrimination and further entrenches the class-divide prevalent in our education system. Most importantly, it deprives children in government system of pre-primary education which is essential for their optimum development. While a child in private school starts schooling at the age of 3 years, a government school child starts schooling at 5 years of age. This creates a wide gap of opportunities and attainments.
The Hon’ble High Court in a PIL filed by Social Jurist titled Social Jurist, a Civil Rights Groupvs. Govt. of NCT of Delhi and anr. [W.P. (C) 7802 of 2011] has observed as follows:
“Every child has a right to ECCE of equitable quality and when ECCE is treated as first step in educational ladder and as a part of Education For All (EFA), the government as well as the schools have responsibility for all programmes for children of age 3+ as well, which is integral part of ECCE.”
It is submitted that pre-primary schooling is of added importance to children coming from disadvantaged backgrounds as their parents are neither equipped nor educated enough to provide them with the right amount of attention and guidance needed in those early years of life. Such parents are also over-engrossed in their efforts to make the financial ends meet and are left with no leisure to devote to their young children.
It is submitted that even in the Delhi High Court-constituted Ganguly Committee recommendations, a strong case has been made out in favour of a uniform pre-primary schooling system in following words:
“Presently, the government schools are not fully catering to meet the need for pre-primary education since only a small percentage of schools in government sector have pre-primary class. The section of society that government schools are serving cannot be denied this critical facility. As a matter of fact, pre-primary education should be made mandatory in all types of schools without exception, so that children of all socio-economic backgrounds have access to early child-hood education.”
It is submitted that the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 in Section 11 provides for pre-primary schooling, which reads as under:
“11. Appropriate Government to provide pre-school education.—With a view to prepare children above the age of three years for elementary education and to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six years, the appropriate Government may make necessary arrangement for providing free pre-school education for such children.”
Further, the Constitution of India under the amended Article 45 of the Constitution placed in Part IV of the Constitution as a Directive Principle of State Policy, reads as under:
“Article 45. Provision for early childhood care and education to children below the age of six years: The State shall endeavour to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six years.”
The right to education of children below six years also flows from Article 21 as interpreted in its judgment in Unnikrishnan, J.P. and ors. vs. State of Andhra Pradesh and ors. The Hon’ble Apex Court has illustrated the right to education as implicit in the right to life in the following terms:
“Having regard to the fundamental significance of education to the life of an individual and the nation, and adopting the reasoning and logic adopted in the earlier decisions of this court referred to hereinbefore, we hold, agreeing with the statement in Bandhua Mukti Morcha that right to education is implicit in and flows from the right to life guaranteed by Article 21. “
In the post-RTE era, the right of children to pre-primary education can no longer be left to the paying capacities of their parents, nor can it be seen in isolation with the fundamental right to elementary education. It is therefore, most vehemently urged that the Government must implement a uniform 2 years’ pre-primary system in all government-run/local body-run schools across the country.
Ashok Agarwal, Advocate
National President, AIPA
1. Smt. Smriti Irani, Hon’ble HRD Minister, Government of India, Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi-110001, and
2. Smt. Meneka Gandhi, Hon’ble Minister for Women and Child Development, Government of India, Shastri Bhawan, A - Wing, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Road, New Delhi-110001, for information and necessary action please.
Monday, June 2, 2014
We are in holidays. Tomorrow we will be in Rampur (U.P.) (190 km from Delhi) and may stay for another day. During the past few months, several patients, parents and students (mostly from Muslim Community) from Rampur have visited us with varied problems. We have noticed that the education level among the students belonging to Muslim Community coming from that area is very low. We therefore decided to visit Rampur to meet and interact with inhabitants thereof and particularly the parents and the students.
रायमीन 24 वर्षीय महिला है l इनको लीवर की बीमारी है, लीवर की बीमारी के कारण रायमीन का 4 बार गर्भपात हो चूका है l जिसकी वजह से रायमीन की पति ने इन्हें अपनी माँ के घर भेज दिया है l रायमीन फिलहाल अपनी माँ के पास रहती है l रायमीन का इलाज़ एम्स में चल रहा है l पर एम्स ने रायमीन के इलाज़ के लिए 2 लाख का खर्चा बताया है l पर इनके आर्थिक हालात बहुत ख़राब है l और इनके पास तो बिलकुल पैसे नहीं है जो ये अस्तपाल को दे सके l रायमीन आज अपने इलाज़ की आशा लिए अधिवक्ता अशोका अग्रवाल के दफ्तर में आयी l अधिवक्ता अशोका अग्रवाल ने इन्हें EWS के तहत फ्री इलाज़ के लिए फोर्टिस अस्पताल, वसंत कुञ्ज भेजा l