BMC school discriminating against my son: Lawyer

Lawyer Shakil Ahmed has approached the school education department alleging discrimination against his son, a standard-I student, by a BMC school run by NGO Akanksha.

The social activist has written to the department accusing the school of violating Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009.

Ahmed claimed two Akanksha-run schools denied his six-year-old son admission twice in March this year.

His son finally got admission to an Akanksha-run school at Kala Chowki in July after the lawyer approached BMC officials.

"No student can be denied admission under RTE Act, but they repeatedly did giving lame excuses. I can afford a good private school. But decided to enroll my son in a BMC school considering the reputation of Akanksha. To my shock, the NGO blatantly violated RTE Act," he said.

Even after his son was granted admission, Ahmed filed RTI queries.

"The queries revealed the Akanksha Kala Chowkie school had very few BEd/DEd teachers. Following my several formal complaints, the NGO is now discriminating against my son. The school took all students on an excursion on November 5, but my son was made to sit alone in a classroom," he claimed.

A petition filed in July by Ahmed is pending before Bombay High Court.

Despite several attempts, Shaheen Mistry, founder of Akanksha, was not available for comment.

However, in an email reply to Ashoka Fellows, an organisation of social entrepreneurs, she denied all allegations.

"The child is performing well. On numerous occasions, Ahmed sought information regarding demographics of school students and general operational practices and Akanksha always provided it in a timely manner," she said.

"Most Akanksha teachers are BEd/DEd. The allegation that the organisation tried to prevent admission of Ahmed's child is false. As per RTE Act, BMC schools are only allowed to accept children within one km radius for primary classes. This was explained to Ahmed several times."

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