The Delhi high court came down heavily on the city government on Thursday for creating “chaos and confusion” in the nursery admission process every year by putting up fresh notifications just before the admission season starts.
“Why have you put up a new notification in January, when the admission process starts in January... This makes the citizen jittery, who does not know where to go,” justice Manmohan fumed.
The judge noted that this behaviour of the government created “chaos and confusion” for parents who didn’t get enough time to plan admission process of their kids.
“It has become very difficult to deal with this government... In the last four years, you (government) have come up with at least three notifications in the month of January,” justice Manmohan remarked, while hearing a fresh petition moved by an association of private unaided schools challenging a January 7 notification on nursery admission.
The court noted that the late notification on nursery has created a situation where if anyone challenges it and the court interferes, the whole admission planning of parents gets disturbed.
“What were you (government) doing the whole year. This notification should have come at least six months or a year in advance so that parents gets to plan in advance. Don’t take anyone by surprise,” justice Manmohan said, posting the case for hearing in the afternoon.
Action Committee Unaided Recognised Private Schools, consisting of more than 450 private unaided recognised schools functioning in Delhi has challenged the notification restricting private schools on public land to admit toddlers only using the neighbourhood or distance criteria.
The new policy was approved by lieutenant governor Anil Baijal and announced by the government on Saturday.
One of the major problems about 300 private schools, which are built on Delhi Development Authority (DDA) land, has with the new guidelines is that they can no longer deny admission to anyone who seeks admission from their neighbourhood.
The government January 7 notification said these private schools cannot “refuse admission to the residents of the locality” and fill 75% of the capacity. The remaining 25% seats are mandatorily reserved for children whose parents’ annual income is less than Rs 1 lakh a year.
The notification gave priority to students living within a radius of one kilometre. In case seats remain vacant, those living within a distance of 3km will get a chance.
There are 1,400 private unaided schools in the Capital and 298 of them are built on land allotted by the DDA.
The committee has challenged the notification contending that it was “illegal, arbitrary, whimsical and unconstitutional”. It contended that the terms of allotment was superseded by the lease deeds subsequently executed and registered by the land owning agencies in favour of the private educational societies.