For the past 15 days Raj Chabbra has frequented schools more than his office and on Saturday — the last day of sale and submission of forms in most schools — he submitted the 23rd nursery admission form for his three-year old daughter.
“I have applied to 23 schools both known and not-so-well known schools because I do not want to take a chance. Applying to more schools will give me a better chance of getting through,” said Chabbra.The number of forms received by schools on the last day which is comparatively higher than last year suggests the anxiety about the number of general seats going down. Parents across the city have applied to more schools this year. (see box)
With the 25% seat reservation for children of economically weaker sections coming into effect from this year, the seats for general candidates have shrunk; parents such as Chabbra are in a majority.
Harsh Chotani, a resident of Punjabi Bagh, has applied to 20 schools for his three year old, most of them in south Delhi.
“Since I am from west Delhi, I will not get the neighbourhood points for south Delhi schools but I have no choice since, I do not really know if my daughter will get through the few schools in west Delhi I have applied to.”
Bal Bharti School at Gangaram Marg for instance has received 400 forms more than last year.
“Parents are anxious about the general seats going down considerably due to EWS reservation. Another reason also could be that unlike previous years, this year schools will announce the first list in February, as per the common schedule. If a child doesn’t make it to one school, parents will have no option to apply to other schools,” said principal LV Sehgal.
Yet another reason could be scrapping of the parents’ qualification criteria by the DoE this year. “Earlier, parents were confident about the 5 or 6 schools they had applied to since a lot of schools gave weightage to their profession and educational qualification. With those criteria gone, parents are leaving nothing to chance and have applied to more schools,” said Rajan Arora, founder of schooladmissions.in, a nursery-admission related website.
EWS forms on the rise
The 25% reservation for the EWS category has seen a rise in the number of applicants this year. Though the government has extended the form distribution and submission of the admission forms till January 20, schools said a lot of parents under the category have applied for the seats reserved for their children.
“Though we have to wait for the final figure, since the submissions for them will continue for another five days, we have already seen a considerable increase in the number of forms submitted. As compared to 250 forms submitted last year, 650 forms have been already submitted this year,” said Vandana Puri, principal, Salwan Montessori School, Rajinder Nagar.