With a toddler straddled in one arm and a file secured in the fold of her elbow, Mamta, a young mother from Manimajra, traverses a maze of chauffer-driven cars, flitting between the gates of Strawberry Fields High School and Saint Kabir Public school.
Mamta and several other parents in the city were moving from one school to another on Monday as the admission procedure for nursery began officially on Monday. For parents from the Economic Weaker Section category, the process is a bit more grueling.
“I came to get the forms for Strawberry Fields today. A friend on mine has admitted her son there under the EWS category as well so she guided me. But now they are telling me they only admit students in Playgroup, not directly in nursery,” says a dejected Mamta. “Maybe I will make him repeat a class, cause an opportunity to study at this school will not come again,” says Mamta, who came to get admission forms for her elder son.
A source from Strawberry Fields High School, on condition of anonymity, confirms that the school does not admit children at the nursery level. “Even if you try to submit online, the form won’t submit if you select nursery. We only take students at the playgroup level or directly in Kindergarten,” said the source.
For most schools in Chandigarh, the application will be available online or can be collected in person from Monday or Tuesday, and can be submitted until December 16th. Though the application is available free of cost, Rs 100 will be charged to parents when they submit the form. Most schools, including private institutes such as Strawberry Fields High School and Vivek High School will select students through a draw of lots.
“The process was easy for me and my child was admitted into Strawberry quite easily. Filling the forms was a little hard but I got help from my employer,” says Saroj, whose son studies in class 1 at Strawberry Fields High School and got admission under the EWS category.
The government policy mandates that every school reserve 25 per cent seats for children from the EWS category. In case applicants from the EWS category exceed the number of reserved seats, a draw of lots similar to the one conducted for the general category will be done on February 13, next year.
After collecting the application form for her son, Mamta heads back to Manimajra in an auto she had hired especially for collecting the admission forms. “I have been told to come back at three to collect forms from Saint Kabir. I also have to come back after filling the forms which is such a task because they are in English. But no worries, I will keep coming back as much as needed if it allows me to secure a bright future for my child,” says Mamta.