Parents will have to wait longer for the nursery admission guidelines for 298 schools built on government land to be released, even as the admission process in the remaining 1,400 schools is underway.
The Delhi government had earlier decided that these schools — which have a clause in the allotment letter saying they will not refuse admission to applicants from the locality or neighbourhood they are located in — will have to fill seats according to the requirements of the allotment letter. However, the government on Wednesday held a second round of “consultations” with schools to listen to their side.
According to education director Saumya Gupta, schools were called to discuss the admission process and the modalities of admission according to the neighbourhood criteria.
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Those who attended the meeting said they voiced several concerns regarding the new process and the government gave them a patient hearing. “We told the education director that the problem with the proposed admission process was that it creates two sets of rules for similar schools. It is a violation of the principle of natural justice. The new rule creates administrative problems, as well as admissions have already begun in 1,400 other schools,” said K Bhattacharya, president, Action Committee of Private Unaided Schools.
He said the decision to impose an allotment letter requirement cannot override an Act passed by the parliament.
“The Delhi Education Act 1978 is an Act passed by the Parliament. It empowers school principals to regulate admissions. Any stipulation cannot over rule an Act of the Parliament. There are also several orders that grant schools autonomy. We discussed all of this during the meeting. I doubt if the guidelines will be released before next week,” Bhattacharya added.
A source also said that once the guidelines are declared, Sanskriti School might be exempted from following the guidelines for neighbourhood as it fell in the category of “special schools” and reserved 60 per cent of its seats for children of central government employees.
Principal Abha Sehgal, however, said the matter was not discussed and they will wait to hear about the admission guidelines from the Directorate of Education. The file on admission criteria was sent to the Lieutenant Governor for approval 10 days ago and the government said it only required his nod for it to declare the admission process. The L-G, sources said, had asked for clarifications regarding a few points on Tuesday evening.