Rights panel backs Plus One admission plea of child-care home residents

Students were denied admission for writing care home’s address in application form

The Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has directed that residents of child-care institutions cannot be denied Plus One admission on the grounds that they had put the institution’s location, and not the place they hail from, in the application form. The institution’s location should be treated as the right address, the commission said.

Acting on a petition from Varghese Uthup, head of a child-care institution at Kavalangad in Ernakulam and five residents of the home who had applied for Plus One admission, commission member K. Nazeer directed the General Education Secretary and the Director of General Education (DGE) to provide admission to the eligible children.

The petitioner said that while one student had secured Plus One allotment and taken temporary admission, two others who had secured allotment were denied admission on the grounds that the local body’s name was incorrect. The school Principal claimed that the children had filled in the name of the grama panchayat where the children’s home was located instead of their home grama panchayat. Mr. Uthup contended that the grama panchayat’s name was entered as Kavalangad as the children were living there currently.

Notice issued

The commission issued a notice to the DGE and the Joint Director (Academic) of the higher secondary wing, Women and Child Development Director, and the school Principal.

While the Education Department officials did not turn up for the online hearing, the school Principal informed the commission that the children could be given admission on the basis of a direction from the higher secondary wing.

‘A violation of rights’

Children living in child-care homes could be from various places and even States. In some cases, no details of their native place were available. Hence, the children had the right to consider the care institutions as their temporary residence, the commission observed. Even if they had some other home, denial of admission for the reason they showed the institution as home for educational purposes was a violation of child rights.

The commission asked the General Education Department authorities to issue orders to ensure that conditions that led to denial of admission to children in child care institutions on the ground that they entered the name of the local body in which the institution was located in the application form were eliminated.

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