Those parents who underwent gruelling group discussions while preparing for engineering and management exams as students would thank their stars. All that training would come in handy now to get their children admitted in Shri Ram School, Vasant Vihar.
As part nursery admission, the school has sent mails to parents regarding group discussions beginning from January 6. The group discussions carry 20 points.
“Holding a group discussion with parents is against the guidelines, which say that schools can only have informal interaction. But holding a group discussion is very formal. Are we applying for a job here?” said a parent from Vasant Kunj, not wanting to be quoted.
Chandrabhushan Kumar, Director Education said any kind of formal interaction is not allowed. “A group discussion does not fall under informal interaction, especially when there are marks attached to it. If any school is following this, we will look into it immediately,” said Kumar.
Others have termed the move as elitist. “The school is clearly looking for a certain kinds of parents. What about those who cannot speak fluently or are not good at public speaking? This move is discriminatory and the education department should act against the school,” said Baladevan Rangaraju, associate director of advocacy group Centre for Civil Society.
However, school principal Manika Sharma said there was nothing formal about the group discussions.
“It is very informal and interesting. You have a bunch of young parents discussing parenting and other relevant issues in a relaxed atmosphere,” said Sharma.
“We are a very progressive school. And we don’t expect parents to be fluent in English. We encourage first generation learners and parents can speak in the language they are comfortable with,” said Sharma.
“Moreover, the criteria has been cleared by the Directorate,” she said.