The nursery admission guidelines for 2016-17 for Delhi has received flak for certain omissions that have been made by the Directorate of Education (DoE).
Sumit Vohra, founder of nurseryadmissions.com, a leading organisation working for a transparent and simplified process of entry-level admission in Delhi schools, wrote a letter to Manish Sisodia, Education Minister of Delhi, highlighting the loopholes in the current guidelines that leave room for exploitation of students and parents.
Vohra in his list of suggestions to the DoE said that the presence of parents during the draw of lots for general category (open seats) should be made mandatory. The earlier guidelines allowed parents to attend the draw of lots which was also necessarily videotaped by the school authorities and the video was later sent to the DoE. It also allowed parents to use their mobile phones to record the whole process if they wanted. But the 2016-17 guidelines say, “The admissions and draw of lots, if any, shall be conducted in a transparent manner preferably in the presence of parents.” Vohra said, “The words ‘preferably’ and ‘mandatory’ are two words with vast implications. If the presence of parents is not made mandatory, the schools can bypass the very transparency that is at the core of this whole issue.”
“This has happened before when schools made excuses regarding the lack of space to accommodate the large number of parents. They themselves put the list of students selected for admissions without any obligation as to show how transparently the lots were drawn,” said Vohra.
The other major omission is the absence of “rent deed” as a valid address proof. Vohra contended that on an average, 25% of the residents live on rent in Delhi. “If the rent deed is not be accepted as a valid address proof, how will the families living on rent send their children to good schools?” Vohra asked.
The other problem is that under the present guidelines the uniform upper age has not been introduced. The circular stated, “The minimum age (is) three years (on) 31 March of the year in which admission is being sought.”
It further explained that the age stipulated for different entry classes is the minimum age and the issue of uniform upper age limit is being deliberated upon by the government.”
In his letter to Sisodia, Vohra said that there are schools in the city that not only keep their upper age cut-off to four years as on 31 March of the year in which the admission is sought to an entry level class, but also reward them 15 points for being four year old.
He said, “Modern School Vasant Vihar and Sri Ram School Vasant Vihar (TSRS) are the two most sought after school in the same area, but both have different upper age cut-off. In Modern School, a child above four years is not eligible whereas in Sri Ram School Vasant Vihar (TSRS), a child is awarded extra 15 points for being four years old or more.”
“This ‘deliberation’ over a uniform upper age limit has been going on for the past three years. Schools prefer an older kid as he/she’ll be better trained and the school authorities won’t have to go through all the trouble that younger kids bring along,” added Vohra.