Claiming there was no ‘confusion’ as far as the capital’s nursery admission process was concerned, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Sunday said the government was forced to issue directions to scrap all quotas including management quota after certain schools “betrayed the government’s trust”.
“The Delhi High Court ruled that the government can’t interfere in matters of private schools, and we agree with that. We gave full freedom to the schools to devise their own criteria. But on December 31, when the education department saw criteria issued by certain schools, they were shocked… It took us five days to compile and analyse… and we realised the criteria was not fair, transparent or reasonable… We trusted the schools in December and gave them full freedom to make criteria but they betrayed our trust… So we immediately took out the order after five days,” said Kejriwal.
The minister was addressing parents seeking admission into nursery for their children this year. Kejriwal, along with Education Minister Manish Sisodia and Education Director Padmini Singla, answered people’s queries on age limit for nursery admissions, the admission process for economically weaker sections, schools not coming out with any criteria and alleged irregularities in admission by schools.
Many were told that the education department would look into their particular query, but not told if and how the government would get in touch with them.
A parent who claimed that a particular school was not uploading criteria on the website said, “I was told to give my complaint to the director, but she left immediately after the session. I’m not sure what to do now.”
Anil Verma, a parent from Begumpur in northwest Delhi, said he was unable to apply for EWS admission for his child because the system was misreading the location of his school to South Delhi. He,however, was left looking for a resolution to his problem even after being addressed by the CM.
As Kejriwal explained the general merits of the online EWS system, the parent wondered out loud how he should see the merit if the system didn’t even recognise his locality.
Others like Poonam Kumari were luckier. On hearing her problem, Kejriwal said, “Come to my office on January 18 at 11 am. We will sit and sort things out”. He also promised the department would hold such interactions with parents in the future as well.
Meanwhile, Sisodia, who is also the deputy CM, lashed out at school bodies for trying to create confusion.
“The high court has never said anything about management quota… it is the schools that have misinterpreted the court’s orders in their own way,” he said.
Saying the government couldn’t guarantee admission for all 1,500 children who apply to a school, Sisodia added it would ensure the 120 selected would be selected fairly.