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Nursery admission guidelines in Delhi may change again

Nursery admission rules in the Capital could change this year. Again.

Nursery admissions 2016 Updated: Dec 19, 2015 15:01 IST
Shradha Chettri
Nursery admission
Education minister Manish Sisodia confirmed that a law to bring in new guidelines would be introduced in the assembly session starting November 18.(Saumya Khandelwal/HT file photo)

Nursery admission rules in the Capital could change this year. Again.

The “neighbourhood” criterion could be enough for three-year-olds to enroll in nursery class as the AAP government might chuck out all other norms with an aim to simplify the process — dubbed an annual headache for parents.

Education minister Manish Sisodia confirmed that a law to bring in new guidelines would be introduced in the assembly session starting November 18. “The new law will streamline the nursery admission process in the city.”

As part of the simplification exercise, a source said, a plan is being worked out to keep only the neighbourhood criterion or distance from home to school for a child seeking admission — the closer the better.

“This means, even general category students will be selected through draw of lots which is currently done for children from economically weaker sections of society for whom 25% seats are reserved under the right to education.”

The controversy-prone nursery admission process in Delhi, which normally starts in December, has undergone several changes in the past as the authorities looked for ways to make things easier.

In 2013, lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung issued a set of guidelines that reserved 70 points for children applying for admission in a “neighbourhood” school. Admissions were given to those living within a 6km radius of the school. The following year, the rule varied from school to school — from 3km to 6km.

“The neighbourhood norm is undoubtedly good because it agrees with the right to education. It will save children the hassle of travelling miles to reach school. It is not discriminatory and every child will be treated equally,” said Ashok Aggarwal, a lawyer and founder of Social Jurist, an NGO that works in the field of education.

It filed a court petition seeking a ban on interviews in 2004 and later sought scrapping of the point system when right to education was enforced in 2010. A source in the education department said the management quota, which allows 20% seats to be reserved for school authorities and children of staff, could also be junked.

Besides state-run schools, the rules are meant to regulate admissions to entry-level classes in private recognised institutions as well.