Private schools in the capital on Tuesday assured the Delhi High Court that tiny-tots or their parents will not be interviewed for admissions to nursery schools for the 2007 session.
The Action Committee of Unaided Private Schools (ACUPS), the umbrella body of 1,900 private schools, however told the court they had serious reservations about the alternative mode suggested by the Ashok Ganguly Committee and urged for a detailed hearing on it.
They are not in favour of a ban on interaction, giving weightage to children on the basis of neighbourhood policy, sibling and alumni and insisted on greater autonomy in matters of admission.
But the division bench of Acting Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Kailash Gambhir reminded them that “they had kept the dialogue open” and gave them several chances to come up with alternative suggestions but they had failed, forcing them to hand over the task to a committee.
ACUPS counsel RK Jain gave the undertaking to completely stop the practice of interview after lawyer Ashok Aggarwal, representing the aggrieved parents in the PIL, urged a firm direction from the court in this regard.
He said that the bench’s pronouncement on November 7 was being taken just as an observation and, therefore, there was some confusion regarding the process to be followed.
Firmly stating that there was no “scope for confusion”, Justice Jain then said that the court had in “unambiguous terms” made it clear that schools that do not follow guidelines suggested by the committee cannot go ahead with the admissions.
The bench reiterated that the guidelines must be tested on a trial basis for this year and, meanwhile, schools can come up with suggestions that will be incorporated later.
Jain argued that any new policy cannot be brought in all of a sudden and can only be implemented gradually. He said that parents were in great difficulty because of the new rules, mainly the neighbourhood policy as there was no even spread of good schools.
In an affidavit, the schools said that “the criteria infringes upon the right of parents to choose the school of their choice. While central and south Delhi have seen a large number of schools imparting quality education coming up, east Delhi, north-west Delhi, west Delhi and outer Delhi have fewer number of such schools.
It said the criteria evolved regarding weightage to sibling and alumni also “suffers from a grave error”, which sometimes come to an exhausting 60-70 percentage leaving no seats for the general category.