Tanishka Keshri, 3, will not go to school this year despite applying for admission in nursery in around 25 schools.
A combination of lesser number of seats than the number of applicants and the messy admission criteria means that a number of children like Tanishka have not managed to secure a seat in any school this year.
The nursery admission process in the city is one of the most competitive as well as the most regulated in the entire country. The city has close to 1.25 lakh seats up for grabs for around 1.5 lakh applicants.
Last year the department of education had issued guidelines for all schools that gave preference to those children who lived within an eight kilometre radius of the school. This year, however, schools have been given the freedom to frame their own guidelines.
Most schools have allotted 40-50 points (out of 100) for distance, 10-20 points for alumni and 30-40 points for sibling category. A maximum of 20% of the total seats can be reserved under the management quota.
Last year, the education department had standardized the points system. Schools had to give 70 points out of 95 for distance, 10 for sibling and 5 for alumni. While these guidelines did not assure admission, they made it easier for a child who lived near the school to get admission.
These guidelines were reversed after a long court battle and schools were asked to decide their own criteria, just like they did from 2007 to 2012.
Earlier as well, there were cases where children couldn’t get admission despite applying to a number of schools. This year too, there are many parents who are scared that their children will have to miss a year.
“I have even tried to approach the directorate of education but no one has been able to help,” said Tanishka’s father, who lives at Malviya Nagar in south Delhi. This part of the city has the highest concentration of sought after schools. He had applied in schools like Delhi Public School, Blue Bells School, Indian School, Mother’s International and many more around the area.
However, the education directorate cannot do anything in this matter, as schools have been given the freedom to decide on the rules
For Rajeev Kumar, who lives in south Delhi, the situation is the same. He too had applied in 20 schools but he hasn’t received any positive response so far.
“I am seeking admission for my first child so I have lost points on sibling and alumni. Also, 25% of the seats are reserved for the economically weaker sections so the total number of seats available goes down,” said Kumar.
It is a similar story in other parts of the city. Bharti Sharma, who lives in east Delhi is also waiting to hear from at least one school. She had applied in 15 schools for her second son. “I am so clueless on what to do now. We have gone to the school also. But no one wants to meet us,” said Sharma.