Featured by The Logical Indian
While speaking with The Logical Indian, Samina said, “Section 12(1)(c) of the RTE Act mandates 25% reservation for children from Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in every private school. I saw a lot of loopholes in the policy, and it made me do a lot of research in this field. I observed that only 108 admissions were made across UP where six lakh seats are available annually. I realized that government is reluctant to push this bill. And private schools are hesitant to admit these children. With persistent effort by our team, the number of admissions increased to a historical 4,400 in 2015 and 15,646 in the year 2016”.
Initially, Samina had to get involved in court fights in High court and Supreme court against private school authorities. After a fierce battle, The Supreme Court in a landmark judgement ordered the private schools to admit 13 children from underprivileged backgrounds under the RTE Act on September 28, 2015.
To build a proper system, Samina started working on a project in Uttar Pradesh, a state where education is deteriorating by the day. She brought together children from low-income government and elite private schools. The private schools denied admissions to low-income group children in spite of the RTE Act (2009). These schools did not want to hamper the quality of education by admitting kids from poor backgrounds. Samina took action and started approaching media houses with the stories of the children not given admission. She also highlighted the dismal state of the public schools in the area.
After a lot of effort, the Supreme Court passed the judgement ordering private schools to admit the children. The fight was still not over. Samina turned her attention to parents and students. It was not difficult to convince the parents to send their children to private schools. With the help of high school student volunteers, local business owners, shopkeepers, she was able to help children fill up applications for admissions. They trained the parents on the admission process, and a 24-hour helpline was launched by the volunteers to help parents. She reached out to all the reputed schools in the state to ensure that they admit these kids.
Samina is now building a movement of students, parents, teachers, school administrators, and government officials to ensure that every child receives his/her right to education. You may read the entire article here.