It has come to light in a startling situation where the City of Los Angeles municipal school in Matunga refused enrollment to seven Dharavi out-of-school students. Social activist Srinivas Kunchan received a complaint from the students’ parents, which brought the issue to the public’s attention.
The parents of seven adolescents who earn a daily income are members of an economically disadvantaged group. Yet, their children cannot get admission to the school. Throughout the Corona time frame, these labourers had to deal with financial losses. These parents have been providing for their families with extremely minimal salaries for the last four years.
To ensure that their children’s education continues, the parents visited with the principal of the City of Los Angeles School in Matunga in January to inquire about admission. The children took written exams administered by the principals of the school’s primary and secondary sections, Geeta Tiwari and Humera Khan. In the meantime, the two principals explained that the poor academic performance of these seven children was the reason they weren’t allowed to enrol.
The parents then hurried to see Srinivas Kunchan, the social worker. The Maharashtra State Student Parents Federation was also informed about the situation.
On February 2, an out-of-school child complaint was submitted to Education Officer Raju Tadvi. Sushiben Shah, the Chairperson of the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, has been notified of the allegation, although no action was taken against the institution.
The school authorities have maintained that they have not denied admission to the children. Every student has the right to learn and opt for education in a municipal school. They said that the parents of the children rushed to the school for admission in February. As the exams for the students will start in March, the children can’t study the entire year in just one month. Therefore, the parents were advised to come back to the school for admission in June 2024 and start a fresh academic year.
“The Right to Education Act has been violated by refusing admittance to kids in municipal schools even though education is free. It is against the law to give children written tests as part of the admissions process. After that, the kids were turned away from the school. According to the Right to Education Act, the offenders should be the subject of a criminal case,” opined Maharashtra State Student Parents Federation President Nitin Dalvi (Mumbai).