The municipal school board of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has submitted before the Gujarat High Court (HC) that the city-based Mahatma Gandhi International School (MGIS) has been complying with the condition of reserving 20 per cent seats for children from municipal schools and that “almost all” students recommended by the board were admitted.
The affidavit dated August 5 was filed in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) alleging that the school was not adhering to the terms of reserving seats for free education. The PIL, listed for hearing on Monday, was adjourned as the petitioner’s lawyer tested positive for Covid-19.
In the affidavit, the municipal school board also submitted that for the current academic year, the municipal school board would try to “recommend children” studying under the Signal School Project. The project was launched jointly by the Gujarat State Legal Services Authority and the AMC to provide basic education to children engaged in begging, in buses converted as classrooms, stationed near traffic signals.
According to the board, in the current academic year, the MGIS has indicated the availability of seven reserved seats and two students were recommended by the District Education Officer under the RTE Act, while three students were recommended by the municipal school board. For the remaining seats, children studying in Signal School Project will be considered.
Meanwhile, in an affidavit filed on August 3, MGIS stated that the 20 per cent reservation is at “entry-point only” and “as a matter of policy, (the school) refrains to admitting students from the underprivileged section beyond class 5 as it would be very difficult for such a child who studied in a municipal school in vernacular language to cope with the academic rigours of the International School Board at upper primary level”.
The Gujarat High Court is expected to take up the matter next on October 10.