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Parents left in the lurch

Nursery admissions

Rahul Kapoor, a chartered accountant by profession, had applied to 11 schools for his son’s nursery admission but could not make it to even one school. The reason being all too familiar: “We missed out on the alumni and sibling points,” he said. Kapoor is one of the many parents in the city whose child could not secure a nursery admission in any of the rather too many schools they had applied to. And most of these parents have little or no hope from the second list. “There is no point in waiting for the second list as even the waiting list has candidates with alumni and sibling points,” Kapoor said.

This year, admission guidelines issued by the Directorate of Education were framed under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, which made it mandatory for schools to reserve 25% of seats for children from economically weaker sections. This has resulted in a sharp drop in the number of general seats. The schools this time have followed the 100-point system and allocated points under categories like neighbourhood, alumni and siblings etc.

Though previous years have seen withdrawals by several candidates in the first list, chances of it recurring this year seem low. “With professional qualification being scrapped as a criteria, there are no variables in points this year. And why will those who have made it to schools through sibling and alumni category withdraw?” asked Rajan Arora, founder of schooladmissions.in, a nursery admission-related website. Professional qualification of parents, a category till the last year, was scrapped under the RTE Act as it was deemed discriminatory.

Faced with such a situation, some parents are now planning to let their child continue in play schools while others are even contemplating relocating to a different city. “Since I am from Daryaganj, I had applied to even some not so well-known schools, thinking I will make it through the neighbourhood criteria, but I was wrong,” said Ravi Jain, who had applied to 17 schools for his son. “Now I have no choice but to let my child continue in the play school and try for admission again next year,” he added.

But Soma Mitra, whose daughter too did not make it to any of the schools, is worried about waiting till the next year. Her daughter had made it to the first list of two schools but lost out in the lottery as she was tied at the same points with other candidates. “Next year, she will be 4+ and most schools here give preference to children who have attained three years. So along with all these criteria, even age can be an issue. I am not sure about KG admissions either since there are very few vacancies,” said the worried mother.

And Kapoor, like many others, is now contemplating leaving the city altogether. “What is the point of doing well professionally if my son cannot make it to any school here? We are considering relocating to another city,” he says.

Hindustan Times, February 7, 2011


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