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New twist in nursery admission fiasco

Private schools challenge state govt’s order to exclude parents' background from entrance procedure, reports Avishek G Dastidar.

india Updated: Dec 07, 2007 04:08 IST
Avishek G Dastidar

With less than a fortnight left for this year’s nursery admissions, 250 top private schools in the Capital have opposed the Delhi government’s recent order asking schools to exclude background (education and occupation) of parents from the admission procedure. The schools have also opposed admissions guidelines issued by the government, saying the norms infringe on their autonomy.

Schools, under their various umbrella organisations, will communicate the matter to the government on Friday demanding a re-look at the whole issue.

The decision was taken on Thursday at a meeting of the Action Committee, which represents all associations of private, unaided schools.

Without information on the parents, the aim to ensure wide mix of students representing cross sections of the society would not be fulfilled, school representatives claimed.

“There is no harm in asking for information on parents’ backgrounds. If I come to know what the parents do, then I can ensure that various occupational and social sections of the society are represented in the schools,” said SK Bhattacharya, head of Association of Private Unaided Schools and also the newly elected head of the Action Committee.

On the same lines, schools are going to question the admissions parameters released by the government, including neighborhood, siblings, alumni, physically challenged, single parent etc.

“Neighborhood is turning out to be the sole deciding factor taking away a chunk of points because very few applicants would be able to avail of parameters like single parents and physically challenged. And for schools, which are around 10 years old, factors like the Alumni do not matter,” he said.

“We do want neighborhood as a parameter, but not the sole deciding factor for admissions,” Suraj Prakash, principal of CRPF Public School, Rohini, said. “The government has asked us not to assign more than 20 points to one parameter, but it so happens that other criteria do not have many takers,” Prakash explained.

Moreover, schools have decided to take up the issue of autonomy vis-à-vis the guidelines with Delhi Education Minister Arvinder Singh. “The admission guidelines, the new rule of getting admissions process approved by the Directorate of Education etc infringe upon schools’ autonomy as guaranteed by Rule 145 of the Delhi Education Act,” SL Jain, head of National Progressive Schools' Conference and principal of Mahavir Jain Sr Secondary School, said.