Aslam Pervez is a worried man. His four-year-old son, Sayyed, has failed to make it to any school so far. Pervez is now pinning all his hopes on the Air Force Bal Bharti School list that will be declared on February 27.
“I’m willing to pay a bribe, even go to a tout. We have no option left,” says Pervez. The Minto Road resident had applied in every school in neighbourhood. “I had applied in DPS (Mathura Road), St Columba’s, St Xavier’s, Springdales (Pusa Road), Bal Bharti (Sir Ganga Ram Road) and Sardar Patel Vidyalaya.”
Sayyed missed the process last year because of the confusion over admission age. “He was underage, so we didn’t bother. Suddenly the age was lowered and we could not apply,” says Pervez.
Amit Pushkarna (name changed), on the other hand, is planning to shift to Mumbai. His 5-year-old son failed to get admission last year and things do not look any brighter this year. “The situation is bizarre here. Our son is being penalised because his parents are educated in another city. In a city with such a large immigrant population, such rules are discriminatory,” he says.
Parents like Pervez and Pushkarna are not buying the Delhi government’s claim that there’s no problem in school admissions this year. DPS (RK Puram) principal Shayama Chona agrees with them. “No problem? There is a huge problem. If you get 6,000 forms for 80 seats, there are many who are left out,” says Chona. “The admission age being lowered has added to the mess.”