ZP notice to St Mary’s School seeks admission afresh

Admission process not transparent, finds panel scrutinising school's minority status

The education department of the Pune Zilla Parishad (ZP) has ordered cancellation of the admission process of St Mary's School in Camp for Upper Kindergarten (UKG) and Class I and asked it to carry out the process afresh for academic year 2013-14, observing that the process had contravened the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act 2009.

ZP Education Officer Dattatraya Shendkar on Wednesday served an official notice on the school, asking its administration to carry out admissions afresh in conformity with the RTE Act and as per the government schedule this month.

The school was recently under the scanner over its status as a minority institution. The committee set up by the ZP education department a few days ago to scrutinise the minority status of St Mary's School found that it had been allegedly evading adherence to the RTE Act despite it not having a minority certificate in its possession.

Led by ZP Education Extension Officer KD Bhujbal, the committee had also observed that the admission process carried out by St Mary's School for UKG and Class I was not transparent and that there was some major non-compliance with the RTE Act. The ZP Education department has sought an explanation from school authorities on these observations, and asked them to furnish a reply within a week's time.

"Any school that violates provisions of the RTE Act despite coming under its purview will have to face action. The Act, which ensure 25 per cent quota for students from weak social and economic background, even stipulates stern punishment like derecognition of school," Bhujbal told Newsline on Wednesday.

St Mary's School principal Sujata Mallic Kumar was not available for comment on the notice issued by ZP, despite repeated attempts to reach her.

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