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Distance another worry for parents

india Updated: Oct 18, 2006 22:45 IST

Shikha Aggarwal is the mother of a three-year-old. So far, she was worrying about how well he would do in the observation session. That fear gone with a ban on all interaction, she is still worried. She lives in north Delhi and wants to put her son in either Modern (Barakhamba) or Sardar Patel. Now with the new scaling system, she stands to lose 20 points straight as both these schools are beyond the 10-km limit.

"Where will people who do not have any good schools in their locality go? North Delhi has only two good schools, St Xavier’s and Montford in Ashok Vihar. Assigning such high scores to neighbourhood is not practical, especially when you do not have an even distribution of good schools," she said.

She now says that she has no other option but to submit a fake address in the admission forms to fall within the coveted 3-km range. “We will either get a fake ration card or submit the address of a relative. Those who are not highly qualified will now try to get fake educational certificates. Nobody wants to lose 40 points,” she said.

Shikha’s response sums up the reaction of most parents who do not live in south or central Delhi. Most welcome the overall suggestions of the committee, but also feel that assigning high scores to factors like neighbourhood and sibling is practical. North and east Delhi residents, however, are among the worst hit.

“We live in Vinod Nagar and there are no good schools in the vicinity. We wanted to put our daughter in Salwan Public School in Mayur Vihar (Phase-III). But we find that we will lose points as it is over 4 km away. We will have to put her in a nearby school against our wish,” says S Ramesh, another parent.

For both Shikha and Ramesh the fact that these are their first-borns is also turning out to be a problem apart from the neighbourhood issue. “Again too much weightage has been associated with the sibling factor. If you are highly educated, live in south Delhi and have been educated in DPS or Modern, you directly get 50 points. This is unfair,” says Shikha.

Not everybody in south Delhi, however, is completely happy with the decision. Sandeep Jain is a New Friends Colony resident but he too is in a fix over the 3-km rule. “There is only one good school in the 3-km radius specified for securing the full 20 points - DPS (Matura Road),” said Jain. Jain feels many may resort to underhand methods.

And then there are those who find the new system has not taken them into consideration at all like Sujata Ashwarya Cheema who resides in the Jamia Millia Islamia campus. Sujata’s daughter is 4 years old and she wants to put her in kindergarten instead of nursery. The new specifications do not apply on KG or prep.

“Although I am extremely happy about the new rules, but they do not apply on my daughter. The fact that a lot of schools start from the kindergarten or preparatory level instead of nursery has not been considered. What about those schools?” asks Cheema. Perhaps, it is the scale that needs to be fine-tuned.

Email: anuradha .mukherjee@hindustantimes.com

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