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Schools for scandal

The theatrics that characterise admission into nursery schools in Delhi make for bad comedy.

india Updated: May 11, 2006 23:59 IST

The theatrics that characterise admission into nursery schools in Delhi make for bad comedy. The court has now banned the interview of parents and children by schools as a criterion for admission. The court is tired of telling the Committee of Private Unaided Schools that it wants alternative, transparent methods of admission. It clearly wants schools to have no discretion in selection procedures. Private unaided schools are at their wits’ end trying to come to grips with the situation. For them, it’s a bit like appearing for an exam where all the possible answers are wrong.

So what will this latest order achieve  when there’s no alternative in place? Certainly not improvement in the admission procedure. These are private, unaided, competitive schools. They do have a right to refuse admission in the mad scramble for seats. Especially because out of Delhi’s 1,300-odd private schools, only about 100 and their branches are considered ‘good’. The rest trade education like any other market-driven commodity — and there are enough takers for that kind of education too. The only good thing that this court order may achieve will be to harm the flourishing business of pre-primary coaching and grooming centres  that often double as feeder agents to nursery schools.

Having given their judgment, it is difficult to see just how it will be implemented. As long as there exist only a handful of ‘good’ schools and there are enough parents to do whatever it takes to ‘get’ admission, there’s little that court orders will stop.