The government’s decision to introduce online admission for children applying under the 25% Economically Weaker Section/disadvantaged (EWS/DG) category has left parents confused. The main cause of concern among parents applying to this category is accessibility.
The admission for EWS cateogry will begin along with those of general category on January 1. But unlike previous years, this time the process will be centralised and the government will conduct the draw of lots.
“Now with this system, it seems only people with computers would be able to apply and get admission for their children. We do not have a computer. So how are we going to apply? Will the schools help us in filling up the forms or can we go to the district directorate office directly?” asked Satnam Singh, from Shahbad Dairy area, whose child will be part of the admission process.
Delhi education minister Manish Sisodia had earlier in an interaction with the media stated that NGOs and schools will help parents fill up admission forms. The government’s notification, however, fails to make any such mention.
HT had on December 28 reported how parents in certain parts of Delhi had started taking the lead and getting computer training and were planning on hiring computer for 22 days of nursery admissions.
This year, there is also no clarity on the grievance redressal mechanism in place for parents. Earlier the parents, whose application form would be rejected, had the option of going to the district education office and filing their complaint. The new nursery admission guidelines this time, however, is mum on grievance redressal.
Experts also fear that the online system for admission will also lead to exploitation of parents by cyber cafes, who might overcharge them.
“Parents may now become easy prey for touts. With the process of admission online, touts can sit at home and fill as many forms as they want. So there is a need for very close monitoring,” said Khagesh Jha, member of Social Jurist, an NGO which works in the field of education.
“The gover nment should have created a EWS monitoring cell, which would oversee the admission process from start to end. This would have automatically brought in transparency,” said Ambarish Rai, national convener of the Right to Education forum.