Thursday, May 9, 2019

Beyond Manzil

EWS Admission in Manzil Kotla School

Kids with Teachers
The Manzil Kotla School was founded by Mrs. Indira Gulati in 1996. It is a pre-school catering to children in the 3 to 5 years age group. When I joined Manzil as a core member in 2017, I was given the responsibility of looking after this school.
It was a very new experience for me to work with kindergarten children. They are innocent and quick-learners. As I started working there I learned many things. I was singing rhymes along with the children and playing with them. I become a child too and still enjoy myself whenever I am with them. 

I also came to know about the EWS (Economic Weaker Section) quota in schools. Anurag, the former team lead had given me the responsibility to fill up admission forms for the Kotla school children under the EWS category. I started by gathering information on the EWS quota. My learnings included the following: 
  • Article 21 (1) (C) of the Right to Education (RTE) Act 2009 mandates 25% reservation for EWS/DG category. Out of the 25% reserved seats, 22% is for economically weaker section (EWS) and Disadvantaged group (DG) category and 3% for Children with Special needs (CWSN).
  • Any person residing in Delhi, having the residence proof of Delhi and requisite Income Certificate (less than one lakh rupees annually) issued by the Revenue Department of GNCT of Delhi, BPL/AAY (Ration Card/Food Security Card holder) are eligible for applying in Private Unaided Recognized Schools for admission of their ward under EWS category. Income Certificate is not required to claim the benefit of DG Category. Income Certificate is also not required for the applicant under Children with Disabilities Category. The applicant under Children with Disabilities Category must have disability certificate issued from a government hospital.
  • The condition of minimum residency period of 3 years in Delhi for applying to admission under EWS & DG (including Children with Disabilities) category has been waived off. Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, Other Backward Class (Non-Creamy Layer), Orphans, Transgender and all children living with or affected by HIV, are considered as the Disadvantaged Group Category as defined in Section 2 (d) of the RTE Act-2009. 
  • Admission of any category is made through a computerized lottery system in private schools.
  • The admission is for pre-primary children between 3 and 7 years of age.

Dance Class of Manzil School
My biggest challenge was to make parents who had children in Kotla School, aware of EWS quota and its processes. We fixed a meeting with parents but only a few parents came for it. After several one-to-one conversations with the parents, they got ready for the admissions. We informed and helped parents to prepare the necessary documents required for EWS admission, although some parents needed more motivation and time than others for the task. 

In 2017-18 only 10 sets of parents out of 40, were able to prepare their documents in time for the admissions process. A total of 7 parents then applied for admission and 5 students got enrolled in private schools successfully. It was a happy moment for all because while only a small number of students were able to get admission, we knew that these 5 children have the chance of a brighter future. Four children got admission in Air Force Bal Bharti School, Lodhi Road, and 1 child got admission in Apeejay School, Sheikh Sarai. 

In 2018-19, we were successfully able to fill admission forms for 19 children. Among these, 9 children got admission in the first round of the lottery. They all are now attending the prestigious schools they were assigned. However, we are still waiting for the result of the second lot of lottery. This year, for the first time, the Government announced admission from class 2 to 9 under the EWS category. I filled 3 forms for the Kotla School and for Manzil students. It was heartening that one student from Manzil got admission in a private school in class 8th in South Delhi Public School, Defence Colony. 
A Shot of Kids of Manzil Got Talent Event

We are deeply grateful to Indus action, a non-profit organization (especially Tarun, founder of Indus Action and Meenu Ji) for helping us in making parents aware of the EWS admission process and for guiding us on how to prepare the documents required for it. We have also included an article on Indus action as an inspirational story this month. The work they are doing for parents and young children is highly appreciable. It is with their help that we were able to gain admission for 9 out of 19 children who applied under the EWS scheme. Meenu ji from Indus action came twice to meet parents at Kotla School. And whenever I require help, they are always there to offer a helping hand. 

So, Manzil is known most for its art and academic classes. However this time we presented another side of our work to make readers aware of the variety and impact of the new social projects are taking up. 

Written by Tulsi, Core Member 
Edited by Megha Dhillon, Professor, LSR College 

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