PIL seeks fair admission policy in private schools

J&K High Court has issued notice to Union of India, J&K government and private schools’ association on a Public Interest Litigation praying for ‘fair and just policy’ in schools admissions.

The PIL has been filed by one Kaiser Ahmad Bhat.

A division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Sindhu Sharma asked the government to show cause as to why the petition be not admitted to hearing.

The court said notice be issued to all private schools of valley through their association and to Principals of Presentation Convent School Rajbagh, Delhi Public School Panthachowk, DPS, Budgam, Burn Hall Higher Secondary School Sonawari, Mallinson Higher Secondary School Lal Chowk, Tyndale Biscoe Memorial Higher Secondary School Lal Chowk, Srinagar.

The petitioner in his petition submits that though six-year is the most appropriate age for admission to standard 1st, this universally accepted rule is being violated in Kashmir by the private schools.

The petitioner states that the pre-schools in J&K start admission process for the children at the age of 3+.

“Pre-schooling for the children is, without exception, only for the duration of 2 years. Either it is Nursery and K.G or K.G and Sr. K.G. In every case the child is only five years of age when he or she becomes eligible to be admitted to the standard 1st”, the petitioner pleads.

The petitioner submits that the authorities who are at the helm of affairs are not taking cognizance of the issue.

The petitioner alleges that the private schools have been taken over by the profiteering and commercial motives and want to make quick bucks as soon as possible. “No private aided or unaided school has paid any heed to this systemic and structural fault in admission process for the children.”

“To circumvent this, what the parents do is that they change the DOB of their children and show them as having born one year later. In turn what happens is that such children steal march over other children who are younger to them. This vicious cycle goes on uninterruptedly,” the petitioner states.