Mansi Saraswat, who is seeking nursery admission this year for her twin sons, is banking only on prayers. Saraswat who lives in Vasant Vihar, spent the whole of Monday collecting forms and checking out the various categories of the school.
“In spite of staying around some of the best schools, I feel that my chances of getting through any of them is very slim. The schools have categories such as sibling and alumni, which are of no use to us. With the reservations for economically weaker section children and management quota, the general seats have gone down quite a lot this year,” added Saraswat.
At Springdales School Dhaula Kuan, Saraswat will be competing with thousand other parents for just 69 seats — allocated to the general category out of 136 seats. At Tagore International School, Vasant Vihar, the number of general seats is 50 out of a total 134.
With the directorate of education giving schools a free hand to decide the categories — and allowing them to retain 20% reservation for management quota — parents like Saraswat are left with few options. Schools have reserved seats under various categories, such as sibling, alumni, special needs, management quota and staff children, shrinking the number of seats available for parents who do not fit into any of them.
While it is compulsory for schools to reserve 25% seats for students from economically weaker section, parents are quite miffed at the schools reserving up to 20% seats under management.
“Why has the government allowed schools to reserve so many seats under the management quota? No one knows what kind of procedure the schools follow under the management quota,” said Rajat Mittal, who is seeking admission for his son.
“In a society like ours, how can one overlook children with special needs, girl child and staff categories. As far as the management quota or the discretionary seats go, it is important for a school to have them. And as they operate within a setting, one has to cater to the requests that come our way. In any case, we always transfer the seats to the general category if they are vacant,” said Jyoti Bose, principal, Springdales School, Dhaula Kuan.
Parents should approach the government if they have a problem with general seats coming down said Madhulika Sen, principal of Tagore International School, Vasant Vihar. “Management quota was always there, the general category seats have gone down due to the EWS reservation. Why is the government not bringing up the quality of its own schools so that there is wider choice for parents,” said Sen.