Mahadevi Birla to remain co-ed

Mahadevi Birla World Academy has gone back on its decision to change to an all-girls' school following agitation by a group of parents.

By A Staff Reporter
  • Published 21.09.15
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Mahadevi Birla World Academy

Mahadevi Birla World Academy has gone back on its decision to change to an all-girls' school following agitation by a group of parents.

The school authorities on Saturday said it would continue to remain a co-educational institution and put up an admission notice for kindergarten for both girls and boys outside the school gate.

The notice says "application form for admission to class kindergarten (boys and girls) for the session 2016-17 will be available again on the school website www.mbwa.org.in between September, 23, 2015 and September 30, 2015."

A group of parents had launched a protest after the school announced it would stop admitting boys from the 2016-17 academic session because of poor response from parents of boys.

The school managing committee had opened the school's doors to boys from the 2013-14 academic session. At present, the school has 270 boys on its rolls in kindergarten, and classes I and II.

"We had a meeting with the parents... we had told them that their request was being considered.... It would be put across to the school chairperson," principal Anjana Saha said. "The chairperson returned to the city and heard the parents' appeal and took a decision."

The authorities had been forced to keep the school closed for three days following protests.

The school had also procured a court order restricting the movement or assembly of parents outside the premises under Section 144 of the CrPC.

"We are happy that the management considered our appeal and decided to remain a co-educational school," a man whose son is in kindergarten said. "Had we not launched a protest, our voices might have been drowned."

The school, however, denied giving in to parental pressure.

"The reaction of parents at that point of time (initially) was too hurried... we had said we would hold a meeting with them and sort this out through dialogue, which we did," a school official said.

Admissions to kindergarten had been put on hold following the protest by parents.

Friday's notice states the minimum age for admission to kindergarten is 4+ as on April 1, 2016 - that is those born between April 1, 2011 and March 31, 2012.

The notice also says those who have applied/submitted forms between August 31 and September 11 need not apply again.

The school had assured parents that their sons would be allowed to continue till Class XII with proper infrastructure.

But they launched a protest as they felt their boys would be marginalised among so many girls if Mahadevi Birla World Academy became an all-girl institution.