AHMEDABAD: In a first, nineyear-old Jhanvi Vaja has received free admission directly in class IV in a private school in Bhavnagar, under the provisions of the Right to Education (RTE) Act. The state government grants admission to poor kids under this law from class I only.
The education authorities have paid Rs 25,900 to Jhanvi’s mother, Sonalben Vaja, towards refund of fees that she paid to a private school to study for the last three years. The government has also paid Rs 9,000 to the mother towards the child’s scholarship. The girl will henceforth get Rs 3,000 scholarship per annum.
All this happened because Jhanvi was denied free admission under RTE norms by Sardar Patel Group’s Gagjibhai Sutariya Primary School in 2015, though she was allotted this school by the primary education officer. The school denied her admission on the pretext that RTE norms did not apply to it.
Jhanvi’s mother got her admitted to a private school and continued to pay fees. However, she raised the issue before the higher authorities including the GujaratState Commission for Protection of Child Rights, but to no effect.
When I first went to complain about the denial, the officials took away the original call letter from me and never returned it. Thankfully, I had a photocopy of the letter with me and that was the only proof of my claim,” she told TOI.
The authorities’ response changed after the HC issued notice. The district collector asked the district primary education officer to solve Vaja’s problem. She got a call from the authorities, and even before the free admissions have been finalized for 2018-19, Jhanvi has been granted admission in a school that is run by the same trust, which had denied admission to her three years ago. The new school to which Jhanvi will go is situated 6km from her home in Anandnagar area, said her mother.
Vaja was delightful at the success of her three-year long efforts and at her daughter finally getting free admission under RTE norms. She posted photographs of cheques that she had received from the education department on social media platforms.