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Parents vent ire, offer suggestions

delhi Updated: Dec 12, 2008 23:26 IST
Swaha Sahoo
Swaha Sahoo
Hindustan Times
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Throughout the nursery admission period they didn’t have time for anything — their minds were occupied with schools and everything related to them. But now harassed parents have started raising their voices against the nursery admissions system.

Soon after the School Choice Campaign (SCC) launched a helpline, angry parents started calling and/or e-mailing complaints and suggestions to reform the school admission process.

Complaints galore:

On Friday, the Delhi Directorate of Education (DoE) received complaints running into 25 pages. These complaints by the SCC included complaints against specific schools charging hefty fee in the name of prospectus and refusing to give receipts for the money paid, schools calling children for interviews and refusing admission on flimsy grounds.

“We have received at least 70 complaints to date and have submitted it to the Directorate,” said Baladevan Rangaraju, associate director of SCC, a campaign by Centre for Civil Society, an advocacy group. Their aim is to bring about reforms in school education in India.

Passive department:

Rangaraju said the DoE was not keen on becoming proactive any time soon. “We were told that district education officers would be informed about the complaints and then they would investigate the complaints. But according to the Clause 18 of the Directorate’s rules, the monitoring cell should conduct regular inspections irrespective of complaints,” he said. However, no inspection of schools has been done, he added.

The education department could simplify matters by uploading the criteria for various schools on its website. “Each school sends its criteria to the education department, which has to simply upload the criteria on its website. Any parent can then log in and find the relevant information,” said Rangaraju.

Director (Education) Chandrabhushan Kumar was not available for comment but officials said they had received the complaints and investigations would follow.

Useful suggestions:

Interestingly, parents — many of them anonymously — have come out with suggestions on how to improve the system. These include a common admission form for schools, counseling of parents regarding seat availability, tuition fees, uniform requirement of certificates, and clearly mentioning the number of seats available in KG.

The School Choice Campaign had recently launched Action for School Admission Reforms, an initiative to help disgruntled parents. Parents can call the helpline numbers (9899485667/ 99530 59097) between 9:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. or write to delhiasar@gmail.com to lodge complaints.