Nursery admissions: Parents in a bind over refund
Nursery admission blues continue to haunt parents in Delhi with many schools making it clear that fees will not be refunded in case of withdrawal.
Parents have complained that many schools are refusing to refund the deposited fees in case of withdrawal.
Sanjay Sharma, a central Delhi resident, says a school in Pusa Road is asking Rs 45,000 for his son's admission which is non-refundable if he wants to withdraw from the school.
"They are asking for Rs 45,000 which is not refundable. I am in a catch-22 situation. If I pay now, it would be tough for me to afford admission if my son gets selected in any other school in the second list which is yet to come," Sharma said.
Same is the story of Ramya Shankar. "I am in a dilemma. Unable to decide whether to block the seat or to wait for the second list," says Shankar whose daughter has also been selected in the same school.
Many parents also complain that several schools have been demanding that admission fees be deposited in cash so that they can get away without refunding in case of withdrawal.
Delhi Public School, Mathura Road, has even asked parents to bring Rs 40,000 for admission of which only Rs 500 will be refundable in case of withdrawal.
"Please carry Rs 40,000 towards lump sum advance which will be adjusted towards admission fee, caution money (Rs 500) tuition fee for three months and bus fee etc. Please note that in case of withdrawal or not joining after admission, only caution money will be refunded," a notice on its website says.
"This shows that some schools give a damn to the rules laid down by the government," says Sumit Vohra, founder of online parents' forum 'admissionsnursery.com'.
"There are many new schools that are not approved by the Directorate of Education (DoE), while some old schools are not getting their junior branches recommended. The modus operandi is not to refund fees as required by DoE," Vohra points out.
There are also allegations from parents that some schools have begun admission under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category without any confirmation by the Directorate of Education about the new directive on distance criteria for nursery admissions.
The Delhi High Court had earlier this month asked schools to stress on the neighbourhood criteria for nursery admissions to EWS category and organise another round of draw of lots. The DoE has to come up with a new directive before admissions in this category begin.
The schools that have started EWS admission include Laxman Public School in Hauz Khas, Sachdeva Public School in Pitampura, New Green Field School in Saket and St Columba's School in Ashoka Road.
An official at Laxman Public School in Hauz Khas admitted they have carried out a draw of lots for EWS category, but the results have "not been announced officially, awaiting the court order".
Some schools even give a reasoning that they cannot keep parents waiting till DoE comes out with a new directive.
"If DoE gives a new directive, we will abide by it," says Meenakshi Kushwaha, principal of Birla Vidya Niketan in Pushp Vihar.
"Schools have asked two weeks time for restructuring their criteria for EWS category. The new session will begin in April, so they could have waited for the DoE's directive. I don't understand why they are in such a hurry," said advocate Khagesh Jha.