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‘Get your child admitted in neighbourhood school’

Delhi Education Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely advices parents to get their child admitted in a school in the neighbourhood, reports Anuradha Mukherjee.
By Anuradha Mukherjee | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 20, 2008 02:42 AM IST

Not getting admission anywhere? Delhi Education Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely has a word of advise for you: get your child admitted in a school in the neighbourhood, he says. “Admissions are almost over in some schools in the city, but there are 1,300 schools where the admission process is yet to start. There is enough space for everybody,” Lovely told the Hindustan Times.

He said many students appeared to be out of school simply because people were crowding at a handful of popular schools. “The problem is not that we do not have enough schools in Delhi. We have 5,000 schools in the city, of which 1,200 are government schools. But the problem is that people keep applying in certain schools in south and central Delhi,” explained Lovely.

Asked what he would do about the applicants who have failed to get admission in any school so far, he said the government was intent on ensuring education for each child. “It is not my job as the minister to ensure that a child gets admission in a specific school. It is our job to see that no child remains without education. And we will ensure that every child gets admission,” he added.

He said if need be, the government would go against the court to evolve a policy that would be beneficial for children.

“We evolved a policy which was best for parents, but unfortunately the SC order came at the last moment. Se we had to follow the orders as we did not want to delay the process further. But we will further improve the system and correct any problems in the system. If need be, we will even go against the court order. We will ensure the school admission system is child-friendly and parent-friendly,” he added.

Parents of children who have failed to get admission in schools in which they had applied raise the issue of quality. “There are many schools that have mushroomed all over Delhi legally and illegally, but that does not mean they are imparting quality education. Quality of education is my child’s future. Why would I jeopardise it?” asked Nema Pandit (name changed), a parent.

Pandit, a south Delhi resident, had applied to a wide range of schools around her residence, but her son has failed to get admission anywhere. “We applied in schools from Cambridge, Frank Anthony, Indian, DPS and Banyan Tree among others, but my son has not got in anywhere,” she added.

Asked if the lowering of school admission age to 3 years for pre-school (nursery) was not a regressive step as many educationists have warned against the ill-effects of starting school too young, Lovely said the decision to start formal schooling from age 4 when a child joins the pre-primary section was taken because of this. “Many schools have nursery sections, so we have decided to let them continue as pre-school as many teachers are also employed there. But in three years they will have to shut down these sections. We will also have to start the pre-primary class in all our government schools by then,” added Lovely.

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