Nursery admissions: ‘points system flawed’

For many parents seeking their child’s admission to nursery,the points system recommended by the Ashok Ganguly Commission,instead of ensuring a fair admission process,is keeping them out of reputed schools.

Written by Chinki Sinha | New Delhi | Published:January 18, 2009 12:46 am

For many parents seeking their child’s admission to nursery,the points system recommended by the Ashok Ganguly Commission,instead of ensuring a fair admission process,is keeping them out of reputed schools.

At Springdales School,Pusa Road,a majority of the 77 parents shortlisted for the verification of documents are from either the alumni (20 points) or have sibling points (another 20 points).

Some parents in Kirti Nagar,who did not make it to the list,are crying foul. They allege the school wants to have an ‘elitist system’ by making it easier for alumni or parents who already have a child studying there.

“They only want their own people to be in the school,” a parent said. “This is creating an elitist system where members of the same family get the seats. What are parents like us going to do?”

School principal Amita Wattal,however,said the school was following the Directorate of Education’s mandate. “The courts have allowed us to do this. We have done nothing wrong,” she said.”

As per the DoE’s guidelines and the Ganguly Commission’s recommendations,schools are allowed to grant neighbourhood,sibling and alumni points; they were also given a free hand to decide their own criterion,about which the DoE had to be intimated.

“Sprindales was founded 55 years ago; there are many alumni in the area who cashed in on the neighbourhood as well as alumni points,” Wattal said.

The school gave 10 points to the girl child,10 to linguistic,regional and religious minorities,and 20 points each to sibling,alumni and those living nearby. However,for parents without alumni or sibling points,it was difficult to reach the cut-off of 51 points.

A parent,who secured 48 points,said he was frustrated with the school’s allocation of points. “In the general category,one can only get 50 points,and that too only with a girl child,” he said.

Many parents have expressed frustration with different schools having different points systems. But the schools say they are not on the wrong side of the law as the DoE’s guidelines allow them to do so.

Wattal said the school has been transparent in its methods. “Unlike some schools,Springdales didn’t mark parents on their qualifications or income,” she said.

“This is the legacy handed down to us by the Ganguly Commission. I am not saying this is the best system. There is no fool-proof system,but a numerical system is transparent,” Wattal said. “The people who made the system of points will have to decide now.”

Meanwhile,those who could not get through say their child is suffering for their inability to secure points. “The point system penalises you for things not in your control,like alumni,first child,sibling,distance etc.,” a parent wrote in a community forum.

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