March 17, 2015 Print

The Deepalaya School in the slums of Delhi had been successfully serving thousands of impoverished students since 1992, but it was snuffed out by mindless regulations. In recent weeks, Atlas Network partner the India Institute has received a considerable amount of attention for its campaign to save this cherished private school.

Section 18 of the Right to Education Act, 2009, requires schools to be recognized by the government. However, the Delhi School Education Act, 1973, only grants recognition to schools that own the land on which they operate. Deepalaya School does not, therefore it was illegal. In a pithy op-ed, the India Institute decried the ridiculous regulations: “Undoing these pernicious laws requires much more than just legislative sanction. The first step has to be an understanding that choice in schooling is an essential part of improving educational outcomes.”

India Institute started a social media campaign to fight the regulations (#SaveDeepalayaSchool), and a Change.org petition, which has garnered more than 9,000 signatures to re-open the school. The campaign seems to be working. It has caught the eye of the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC), which issued a press release stating that it has petitioned the chief secretary and secretary of Delhi’s Department of Education for an investigation and report on the school closure. The report is expected in the coming weeks.

Read “The death of a school in Delhi” at Live Mint.

Read “#SaveDeepalayaSchool - Don't shut down Deepalaya School in Sanjay Colony!” at Change.org.

Read “NHRC notice to Delhi Government over closure of an NGO run school for poor kids in Okhla” from the National Human Rights Commission.

Read "Delhi: Public Apathy Victims" at EducationWorld.

Read "Are good low cost private schools bearing the brunt of a faulty RTE Act?" at The News Minute.

Read "Save Our Schools from the RTE" at Swarajya.

View the #SaveDeepalayaSchool campaign on Facebook.