The 100-point criteria for nursery admissions recommended by the Ganguly Committee and tested last year, leading to strong objections from schools and parents, has been junked formally by the Delhi High Court.
The court on Monday approved the Delhi government’s proposal to allow each school to adopt its own criteria for admissions. But this won’t mean complete autonomy to the schools. The parameters they set will need the prior approval of the Delhi Educational Directorate, said the bench of Chief Justice M.K. Sharma and Justice Sanjiv Khanna.
The admission process for the next academic year starts on November 30 when registration forms will be available in the schools.
The court also said the schools would broadly follow the Ganguly panel’s guidelines — like neighbourhood policy and the child’s background — which the government had incorporated in its proposal to the court. But the schools can decide the points they want to give to each factor.
The court made it clear that children or their parents cannot be interviewed and only limited interaction with parents will be allowed to elicit or verify certain information furnished in the application form.
Although the government assured the court that the criteria adopted by each school would be "well-defined and non-discriminatory", confusion for parents is bound to linger for some more time because different schools will have different criteria.
For example, the government's guideline says, "Though preference shall be given to children living in nearby areas, if the school is satisfied that a good and safe transport is available for a child, then it may consider giving admission to such a child even if he/she lives at a place far off from the school."
Parents of children who did not get admission last year because of the 100-pioint formula said the damage caused by the "one year of experimentation" will be everlasting for them.
"Most schools will not have admissions to pre-primary this year because last year's batch will have to be promoted.
Thus, people like us who had to send our children to play schools for a year, will have to wait out another year," said Nandita Yadav of GK-II.
The Ganguly panel, however, did not agree that its formula has been scrapped altogether.
"True, the schools will now have their own system (for admissions), but the parameters will be based on what our committee had laid out," said Shyama Chona, member of the Ganguly panel and principal, DPS-RK Puram.
The standardised registration forms will be available in all schools from November 30 to December 15. Filled up forms will be accepted till December 30. The first and second list of admission should be out on February 1, third list on February 28 and fourth list on March 15.