Nursery admission guidelines: 6-km criteria will deny many of education,says schools’ body

Schools across Delhi denounced guidelines and expressed reservation over rationale of new rules.

Written by Shikha Sharma | New Delhi | Published:December 20, 2013 2:12 am

Calling the new guidelines on nursery admission “parent,student and education unfriendly”,schools across the capital denounced the guidelines and expressed reservation over the rationale of the new rules.

“It is a set of arbitrary rules created without taking into consideration students’ interests and without involving any of the stakeholders. It will dilute the quality of education we impart in schools. We strongly condemn the hurried way in which it has been done,” Ameeta Wattal,Chairperson,National Progressive Schools’ Conference,said.

Schools expressed displeasure over being left out of the decision-making process. “We submitted our recommendations to the Lieutenant-Governor about two months ago. But none have been taken into account. Requests of meeting him are being constantly turned down. As providers of education,we believe we deserve to be heard at least,” Wattal said.

The fixed point system and preference for students living within a six-km radius of schools has also drawn the authorities’ flak. The new rules assign 70 per cent weightage to neighbourhood,thus making it the most important factor for admission into pre-primary classes this season.

“The neighbourhood parameter has been given too many points. It is unfair to children who stay in far-off places. Those who do not have good schools in their locality and want to go to other areas,now are at a huge disadvantage,” L V Sehgal,principal,Bal Bharati School,said.

There were others who felt that the new guidelines were not inclusive. “It is not a parent-friendly order. The rules don’t take into account children with special needs or those who belong to the minority community. The order also doesn’t take into account schools that are more than 50 years old,and ones with a large alumni base. In some ways,it even violates the RTE Act,” Jyoti Bose,principal,Springdales School,Dhaula Kuan,said.

School authorities are also miffed over the abolition of management quota,with many terming it as an “encroachment” on their rights.

“The management quota has always been a part of a school’s right. As managers,we sometimes need to accommodate admissions. Such kind of encroachment on our functioning leaves us with little elbow room to operate,” principal of a prominent South Delhi school said.

Schools also expressed apprehension over the new directive having a negative impact on children from unauthorised colonies.

“Nearly 60 per cent of Delhi has evolved from these unauthorised areas. Children of these areas have to get admission in the schools situated in a regularised colony. If maximum weightage is given to the neighbourhood criteria then children from these areas will be deprived of education,” R C Jain,President,Delhi State Public Schools’ Management Association,said.

The authorities of these private schools said they were planning to send a memorandum to the Lt-Governor to make themselves heard.

Most parents have,however,welcomed the abolition of alumni points and management quota. “The process has now become fair. Earlier,schools would take donations and give admission under management quota. Because of the new guidelines,schools will not be able to discriminate,” Akhil Bansal,a parent,said.

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