Anurag Kundu, an education activist, converses with Pradip Bhandari, the CEO and Founder of Jan Ki Baat, to bring to light some of the problems in the Education system that compromise on the education of children belonging to EWS. Kundu has been pursuing this matter for the past one year but has failed to get a concrete response. He says that a total of 1029 private schools maintained and funded by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi have all failed to cater to the educational demands of the poorer sections. Sarabjot, a Teach for India Fellow, says theres no awareness in the MCD bodies and when requested, they have a tendency to resort to denial, claiming that regulatory work doesnt fall under their domain. Sanymi Gupta and Garima Sharma, also TFI Fellows, shared similar concerns, adding that such actions hinder the education of an EWS child studying in private school, hampering any chance of future social mobility.
As part of the Right to Education Act, 25% seats in private schools have to be reserved for children belonging to the Economically Weaker Sections which would, in turn, aid the social assimilation of different class-groups. This policy was to be adopted by the private schools but the 25% seats that have to be reserved in private schools remains vague because of the lack of data attached to it. Availability of seats, the fill-rate, number of applications and applicants are all absent, resulting in the harassment of parents, Kundu said. Theres no mechanism in place for tracking such issues, reducing the transparency and thereby, increasing the possibility of corruption within the setup.
Theres a dire need to set up a website, one which is updated at regular intervals, for those applying to see and check. Building the infrastructural database is extremely important for the parents as well as the common public to keep track of. This would help with the issue of transparency and increase accountability of the schools.