Did you have a normal delivery or a caesarean? Did your baby cry at birth? What were the first words spoken by your child?
Neither a gynaecologist nor a psychologist are posing these pointed personal queries. These are part of a questionnaire that parents shortlisted for nursery admissions at Sardar Patel Vidyalaya (SPV) were asked to fill.
Many parents could not understand the questionnaire’s relevance to the admissions process.
“Why would they want to know if there were complications in my delivery?” asked Manisha Dave (name changed). “Questions about immunisation are fine but why do they want to know if my child had jaundice?”
SPV Principal Anuradha Joshi admitted the questions had no bearing on admission criteria. “The medical history goes into the child’s file. It is just for the record. We have a points system and award marks accordingly.”
Other parents, too, are upset over the questionnaire.
“I had to go back three years and recollect how much my son weighed when he was born and the date on which he first walked,” wrote a parent on www.admissionsnursery.com.
When contacted, he said on condition of anonymity: “Such questions have no relevance to the admission process. How can one be expected to remember so many details?”
SPV is not the first school seeking answers to detailed questionnaires. Amity International, Saket, asked parents about how to enhance the motor skills of the child, increase team spirit and differentiate between responsibility and freedom.
“The questionnaire is optional but parents have to fill it to get admission. We want to see how parents would react to certain situations and also put across our take on education,” said Bharati Sharma, principal, Amity International School.
At Springdales, parents were given four questions to take home and answer at leisure. The questions, which carried 20 marks, included suggestions to improve primary education and parents’ role in the education of the child.