A city-based non-governmental organisation has accused a South Mumbai college of denying admission to a student with learning disability on the grounds that the student took Class 12 exam at National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) instead of a regular college.
According to Child Reach, the NGO, the student, whose identity wasn’t revealed, and her parents were turned away by KC College in Churchgate although the student’s name was in the third merit list of BA.
“The student was refused admission and spoken to rudely. Parents were not allowed to be with her in the office when she had to get her admission form signed by the authority,” said Priya Deshpande, founder member of Child Reach.
College principal Hemlata Bagla claimed ignorance about the incident but said that the college prefers regular students over those who appear privately for Class 12 examination. “We first admit the regular students and if there is any vacant seat, private candidates are admitted. This is because the students may not have studied in Class 11 and may have directly appeared for Class 12 exam,” she said.
KC College is not the only higher education institute in the city to have such a policy.
Ashok Wadia, principal of Jai Hind College in Churchgate, said they also prefer regular students. “Many a times, students don’t have the necessary background for a course. In such cases, we counsel the students and make them understand that they may not be able to cope up with the course. Colleges have the discretion to decide whether to admit a student,” he said.
Parag Thakker, principal of HR College in Churchgate, said the decision is discriminatory. “If they make it to the merit list, we have to admit them,” he said.
An MU official said, “The student must approach the Student Grievance Redressal Cell,” he said.
A Khan, MU registrar, said, “NIOS students may not have been subjected to the same level of testing as students from other boards. The university has decentralised the admission process. There’s a thin line of admission rules around which the colleges are deciding the matters. However, if someone complains, we will look into it.”