Even the last day of form submission was full of problems for parents across the board.
While parents from the general category were troubled by the illegal points system of some schools, many from the economically weaker section (EWS) could not even manage to submit a form.
After receiving numerous complaints of harassment by school authorities, the education department had passed an order saying that parents could submit EWS forms at offices of the deputy director of education in their area.
But problems were rife, even at these offices.
At the office of the deputy director, education, East, on Monday, many parents were forced to return without submitting forms as the officials asked for attested copies of certificates that were to be attached with the forms.
No where in the guidelines was it mentioned that these forms needed to be attested by a gazetted officer.
“Attestation is desired, but not mandatory at the stage of application. If a child gets admission, attested copies will be necessary,” said Arvinder Singh, Delhi education minister.
But government apathy was evident at the office.
“We came here on Friday as well. The room where the submission was to take place was bolted and the officials were nowhere to be found. We had no option but to return,” said Suhas Kumar. He had come to submit forms for his daughter as schools had refused to receive EWS forms on flimsy grounds.
It was not just attestation that the schools and officials demanded.
“Schools refused to take our forms as we had a BPL ration card instead of an income certificate, even though the directorate had clearly mentioned that these proofs were admissible,” said Mahesh Yadav, a resident of Timarpur.
At the office of the deputy director, forms of children older than four years were not accepted despite the fact that some schools are giving preference to older children.
“This shows clear lack of coordination between schools and the department. Passing blanket orders is not going to help unless someone assesses the ground realities,” said Thomas, member, Josh, an NGO that works in the field of education.
Parents of general category did not fare any better either. Some schools such as CPS Junior School clearly mentioned on their website that they would not refund any component of the fee if the child withdrew admission.
This was despite the government order that schools would have to refund fee within 15 days of withdrawal. The school also advised parents, whose income is below Rs 15,000 per month, not to apply for admission.
Schools across the city, meanwhile, received a large number of applications in all categories.
Springdales School Pusa Road and Kirti Nagar sold 5,500 applications for the general category against around 85 seats and 850 EWS against close to 35 seats. Ahlcon Public received a total of 5,100 application forms against a total of 160 seats.