Braving the winter chill and rain, parents looking to enrol their children in pre-primary classes made a beeline to the capitals’ private schools on Tuesday — the first day of nursery admissions. More than 60 of the capitals’ top schools opened their gates for admission, with many solely selling the forms online.
However, confusion prevailed on the first day, with sparse crowds turning up at schools due to the weather. A day after Delhi High Court dismissed the plea of unaided private schools seeking a stay on the L-G’s nursery admission guidelines, many parents did not turn up as they did not know that the admission process had begun.
Schools recorded tepid sale of forms, with big schools like DPS RK Puram merely selling 100-odd forms on the first day.
“I read about the beginning of admissions only this morning in the newspapers. I’ll start visiting the schools from tomorrow,” Manish Gupta, a resident of Karol Bagh, said.
While schools like Bal Bharti School, Pusa Road, DPS Vasant Kunj and Bhatnagar International School, Vasant Vihar, were only issuing forms online, others like Tagore International School, Vasant Vihar, Ahlcon International and G D Goenka, Vasant Kunj used both online and offline mode for sale of forms. Schools such as Springdales Group, St Thomas and Vasant Valley are expected to begin sale of forms from January 22.
Most forms, however, find no mention of what exactly constitutes the 8-km neighbourhood criterion or how schools will measure this distance — a matter of much concern among parents. Only a handful of schools, such as Sanskriti, Mount Carmel and G D Salwan, Rajinder Nagar, have clearly defined areas that constitute their neighbourhood.
The Department of Education also received complaints about schools illegally charging parents for buying forms and prospectuses. Instead of charging the nominal fee of Rs 25 laid out in DoE guidelines, some schools such as Ahlcon International, Mayur Vihar and St Michaels School, Pusa Road had been charging Rs 150 and Rs 50 respectively for forms.
Parents also faced problems tracking their respective education officers to file complaints against erring schools. “About 50 per cent of schools I visited today still don’t have display boards outside. Considering the admissions are starting so late, shouldn’t they have put up the boards by now?” Falguni Malhotra, a parent, said.
Some parents have reported schools refusing sibling points to twins. “I visited three schools in Dwarka today, and all three told me that twins will not get any sibling points. When I cited the DoE guidelines, they refused to accept it. I am going to file a complaint against the schools soon,” Rashmi Paliwal, another parent, said.
In the nine days since its inception, the nursery helpline has received 12,766 calls and registered 244 complaints. “A total of 140 of those complaints were registered today. Most complaints pertained to schools asking for donations, confusion over neighbourhood criterion, schools compelling parents to buy prospectuses and selling forms at higher prices,” Padmini Singla, Director, Department of Education, said.