Delhi nursery admission: Mission Impossible?

While the right to education is embroiled in litigation, parents are out before the crack of dawn, steeling themselves against Delhi’s cold winter morning, standing in serpentine queues in the hope of getting a nursery seat for their child.

FP Staff January 06, 2012 10:04:03 IST
Delhi nursery admission: Mission Impossible?

New Delhi: One week into nursery-school-admission season in Delhi and there seems to be no respite for parents whose misery only seems to be getting worse every year.

A ‘point-system’ was introduced for nursery admission by the Delhi government last year according to which each applicant is allotted points based on criteria set up by schools.

Parents collect points if, for example, they are alumni, live close to the school, have transferable jobs or if one of their kids is already studying in that school. No points, no seat. Whatever happened to Right to Education (RTE)?

Delhi nursery admission Mission Impossible

A hard admission year for Delhi kids this year. Reuters

According to the Times of India, the ‘alumni’ and ‘siblings’ category take away a large chunk of general seats due to the high points awarded to them (25 and 30 points respectively). The report says that the general category seats are down to 30 percent in some schools. Parents are, therefore, not taking any chances, some of them applying to as many as 15-20 schools.

Well-known civil rights lawyer Ashok Agarwal has challenged the point-system in the Delhi High Court saying it is a violation of the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.

So while the right to education is embroiled in litigation, parents are out before the crack of dawn, steeling themselves against Delhi’s cold winter morning, standing in serpentine queues in the hope of getting a nursery seat for their child.

While 25 percent seats are reserved for students from the economically weaker sections (EWS) under RTE, schools have come up with their own discretionary/management quotas that cut into general category seats.

‘One seat, 53 general category candidates,’ reads a headline in the Indian Express today. The report quotes a survey conducted by an online admission portal that shows that around 44 percent parents will apply (for their children) to more than ten schools, while 47.8 per are likely to apply to less than 10.

The Hindu quotes a worried parent saying, “We don't understand the kind of discrimination that is being allowed by the Delhi Education Department where seats under the general category to popular schools are so few that we have now become the new minority. There is reservation for economically weaker section, management seats, staff seats, seats for alumini/sibiling, first born and proximity from school, where does an average general category candidate fit in.”

Good luck to parents!

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