In the absence of any guidelines from the directorate of education on nursery admissions, Delhi schools are interpreting the clause on their discretionary quota as per their convenience.
A number of schools have decided to add 5% staff quota to the 20% management quota in admissions, thereby limiting the number of seats open to the general category.
The Indian Heights School in Dwarka has gone one step further and is giving 5 additional points to children of staff members in the seats open for the general category, over and above the staff quota.
The Delhi HC had last month given schools the autonomy to decide the nursery admission criteria and asked them to refer to the 2007 circular issued by the directorate of education for rules. The circular does not mention the staff quota and only talks about the management quota that has to be capped at 20%.
"The HC had asked schools to refer to the 2007 circular which says the management quota must be capped at 20% and makes no mention of the staff quota," said Khagesh Jha, member of NGO Social Jurist which battled schools in the high court over nursery admissions.
"It was the schools' own argument in court that the 2007 guidelines be followed as they are based on the Ganguly Committee recommendations. The recommendations say that the management quota must include the staff quota. Why are the schools twisting the provisions in the circular and the recommendation report for their own profit?" asked Jha.
Schools, however, said adding the staff quota was their prerogative. "The court never asked us to follow the Ganguly Committee recommendations. It asked us to follow only the 2007 circular. The court gave autonomy to schools. I think there is a greater change for the general category this year because some schools are giving points to children for a wide range of things, including single parents and minorities. If some seats remain vacant, they will be converted into general category seats in my school," said Ameeta Wattal, principal of Springdales School, Pusa Road, and president of the National Progressive Schools' Conference.
Last year, the lieutenant governor's nursery admission guidelines had given schools the freedom to reserve 5% seats as staff quota but had done away with the management quota altogether.