When Ankit Verma (name changed) went to several schools for his child's admission, he was caught off guard.
Not only did he end up shelling out money on prospectuses, but he was also required to furnish details of his financial background — something the Directorate of Education (DoE) does not allow. That was when he decided to file a complaint with the Delhi government's education department.
“I ended up paying close to Rs. 1500 at three separate schools for the prospectus. This is completely wrong since schools are required to give the form at R25 only.
They also ask for unnecessary details of the parents. So I decided to approach the authorities," said Verma.
Taking cognisance of his and other such complaints, the education department issued a clarification on January 11.
“A number of parents complained to us and sought clarifications regarding the ongoing admission process. We have issued a circular clarifying specific problems.
Action has been taken against schools which were flouting norms and it will happen again if there is any irregularity,” said a senior Delhi government official.
Parents, however, insisted that the application deadline for this year’s nursery admission be extended from January 15 to provide a second chance to parents who were at the receiving end of the schools' arbitrary parameters.
“With just a day left, schools should take note of the clarification and come out with a revised point system as soon as possible. It is only fair that the deadline be extended after these new points have been incorporated,” said another parent from Vasant Kunj.
While the DoE maintained that extending the deadline was not a possibility, schools reacted sharply to the last-minute clarifications stating that last-minute intervention will only cause greater chaos for schools as well as parents.
“Schools were required to submit their parameters to the directorate by December 31. If there was an irregularity, the DoE could have intervened then itself and the schools would have issued revised parameters by January 1. It does not make sense to issue clarifications at the last minute and neither will it help if the deadline is extended. Schools have done what they had to do and a last-minute intervention serves no purpose," said Ameeta Wattal, vice chairperson, National Progressive Schools' Conference (NPSC).