Lifestyle & Belief

Delhi promises stiff sentences for principals

Indian school girls posing for the camera warm their hands on a fire as they wait to perform at a government school function in Amritsar on January 7, 2011. (NARINDER NANU - AFP/Getty Images) 

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) said Thursday that it will take legal action against any principal who refuses to admit a child to his or her school, according to the Indian Express. In some cases, the violation of the recently enacted Right to Education Act could even result in imprisonment, the civic body said.

The paper quoted Education Committee Chairman Dr Mahinder Nagpal as saying, “The RTE Act gives every child the right to go to school, and we want to ensure that it is implemented. Any child can fill up a form and apply, and the principal has no right to refuse them admission.”

An unnamed senior official to the Express has received complaints from two or three MCD zones about schools turning students away. “Students who come to MCD schools for admission are generally from the economically backward strata, and they can be easily intimidated by the principal or other school officials. We have called up the principals concerned, warning them against doing such things,” the paper quoted him as saying.