In a viral video, a school principal from Vashi, Mumbai can be seen denying admission to a second standard student on the basis of having a ‘single parent’. Being a single parent, especially a single mom, is not an easy job in a country like India, which is steeped in social taboos & stereotypes. A recent example of this happened in Vashi’s St Lawrence School.
What actually happened
Sujata Mohite, a 27-year-old single mother, when she contacted the school, the authorities agreed to admit her child. But after knowing that Sujata is a single mother, the school denied admission to her son. Sujata got separated from her husband four years back and now she works as a sales manager in a private company. She was also ready to give the No Objection Certificate and judicial custody certificate to the school stating that she is the legal guardian of the child. The school principal Sairy Kanade refused to admit her child saying, “we can’t handle children of single parents.”
Sujata has already withdrawn her child’s admission from Poddar School in Seawood and now this school refuses to take her child on this discriminatory basis. “I had called the institute and asked if they were accepting admissions. When they said yes, I went to the school but they denied me a form and told me that there was no vacancy in Class II,” Sujata told The Times Of India.
With the help of a male friend Sujata again called the school. The school management agreed to meet them for the admission process. This time Sujata recorded all the conversation between herself and Ms Kanade, the school principal. In the video, Kanade can be seen making some baseless argument on which she is denying admission to Sujata’s son. “We can’t handle single parents’ kids. We ask children to bring both parents. Single parents cause a lot of problems. I didn’t tell you to withdraw your son from Poddar School.” said Principal Kanade.
Sujata claimed that she is a working motherand will be able to pay the school fees on time. She also asked the Principal, “Would you cancel the admission of students whose parents get separated?” To which the Principal replied “she won’t cancel the admission, but she will ensure the background before giving the admission to the child.”
Statement by the school authority
Principal Kanade refuses to talk to the media stating that she is ‘busy’. The parent company, Ryan International, said; “As an educational institution, we do not discriminate in admitting students under any criteria nor do we have any such policy for parents. The video has just come to our attention, we are investigating, will take appropriate action” (Reported by The Indian Express). As per the RTE (Right To Education) Act 2009 which makes it not only compulsory but a fundamental right for children to avail education, between the age of 6 to 14 years as per the Article 21A of the Indian Constitution.
Divya Tripathi is an intern with SheThePeople.TV