Vouching for KG interviews
While most schools admit that interviewing kids is not done, they are not ready to let it go, writes Anuradha Mukherjee.india Updated: Jan 21, 2006 16:11 IST
The Delhi High Court may have come to the rescue of toddlers by asking schools to evolve a mechanism for admitting kids without subjecting them or their parents to interviews, but it may be a while before that direction is followed in letter and spirit.
While most leading schools admit that interviewing three-year-olds is not done, they are not ready to let go of "the opportunity to screen students". They say “private schools should be allowed to select students even if it means interactive sessions with the parents”. “If you have 100 seats and 3,500 applicants, what can you do? Besides, you have to meet the parents to see if they are in sync with the schools' philosophy," said Sanskriti School principal Gauri Ishwaran.
Ishwaran says that at her school only one interactive session is held where the child and her parents have to be present. "We just observe the child," she added. Usha Ram, principal Laxman Public School and chair person National Progressive Schools' Conference (NPSC), agrees with her. "We have all cautioned member schools to be very careful. There's no question of interviewing the child, but at least we get to meet the family - after all the kids spend 13-odd years with us," said Ram.
As per the high court's order, the NPSC has formed a committee to chalk out alternatives to conducting an interview. Some suggest admitting kids through draw of lots, but the solution is not acceptable to most leading schools.
"That would be like returning to the dark ages when things were left to chance. Admissions can also be conducted on a first come first serves basis, but when parents come in for an interactive session, they also get to assess the school's environment. This will mean that private schools that run the show in the city by giving good results can't even take a sim ple decision," said DPS RK Puram principal Shayama Chona.
While Chona feels interviewing kids is unfair, she feels schools should have a say in deciding who gets in. She feels distance from the school should be one of the deciding factors, apart from a fair representation of the local community.
"All school should fulfil the criteria for reservation for the poor, single girl children and other groups. But after fulfiling these requirements, I would want to grant admission to the kids of the alumni, my staff members and my staff. I would also want the general population to reflect a homogenous quality with students from all kinds of backgrounds. An admission system sans filters does not give me that choice," said Chona.
Principals also appeared to believe that the government education system was also to be blamed for the rat race for admission to private schools.
“The government schools are in such poor shape that even poor parents prefer to send their child to any school that puts up a board saying its private,” said Ishwaran.
First Published: Jan 21, 2006 16:10 IST