“Education is not a privilege, it is a basic human right.” – William J Clinton
The Madras HC, recently, rebuked a private school for denying admission to a child diagnosed with mild autism. The court observed “It is thus seen that the courts have always been sensitive to children with special needs. They have expressed hope that educational institutions would not betray children with special needs. They have called upon educational institutions to rise to the occasion and extend their arms to those children. Education signifies pulling up from the depth of a child and motivating him or her to achieve his or her dream.”
A bench comprising of Justice CV Karthikeyam, was hearing a petition filed by the mother on behalf of her minor daughter. It was clearly mentioned on the website the school that they have specially trained and skilled teachers for catering for the needs of students with special needs. In the first instance, the school denied having such an advertisement. Later on, they argued that the girl has performed poorly in the written admission test, and thus could not be admitted.
It is pertinent to note that the school was named after a Christian missionary. The court also observed, “The respondent has failed not only in this duty but also betrayed the name of the noble Missionary and extremely, extremely distressingly their Christian faith.”