Published: 10th July 2021
Welcome to Reason: Should schools rescue the single parents?
Typically, the submission of applications for school admissions involves giving names of both parents — even if one of them is dead
For me, already being part of a single-parent household and knowing it was just me and my mom, you’d wake up at times and hope that the next day you’d be able to be alongside your mother because she was out trying to make sure that I was taken care of. But all I cared about was her being home
— LeBron James, an American professional basketball player for Los Angeles Lakers of National Football Association
One becomes a single father or mother for various reasons, such as in war, shipwrecks or pandemics like the current Coronavirus. It could also be desertion by a father or even a mother, or legal divorce. In most countries, especially one like India where beliefs and thought processes are rooted in tradition, single parents attract odium — specially single mothers.
Typically, the submission of applications for school admissions involves giving names of both parents — even if one of them is dead. But when it comes to desertion or divorce, the mother bears the sole responsibility of bringing up the children and, with good reason, she wouldn’t be eager to record her ex-husband’s name on the application forms. The admission counter staff wouldn’t let go of the chance to see the mother cringing at the situation.
Now, the Government of Delhi, through its Director of Education, Udit Prakash Rai, has declared that Delhi schools cannot deny admissions on grounds that the child’s application has declared the name of only one parent. Here is the gist of the related media report:
Sharing a circular of the education department, Sisodia tweeted, “No school in Delhi shall deny admission to a child on the grounds that the child is declaring name of his/her single parent only.”
The order issued by the Directorate of Education in the Delhi government said, “All the heads of schools of all managements under the office of the Director of Education are hereby directed to not deny admission to the candidates who have filled details of one of the parents in the application form while
A senior official of the education department said that the notice was issued after some parents approached the department with complaints of private schools not accepting their application as it contained only the name of a single parent.
Activists have hailed the government move as ‘progressive’ and stated that it would be a relief, especially for single mothers. For decades, Indian schools have raised questions and created hurdles for single parents seeking admission for their children. However, of late, single parents have started to raise their objections in this matter, especially when the other parent is not involved in raising the child.