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Platform for airing nursery grievances

Times of India, 10 December 2007

NEW DELHI: Long suffering parents at the receiving end of whims of schools have help at hand. The website www.nurseryadmissions.com, run by parents seeking nursery admission for their children, and School Choice Campaign have come together to provide a platform to parents to file complaints against schools without jeopardising their ward's chances of securing a berth. School Choice Campaign a nationwide initiative launched by the Centre of Civil Society in 2007 and nurseryadmissions.com started Action for School Admission Reforms (ASAR) on Monday to collect complaints from parents and submit them to the directorate of education.

The fact that all is not as it should be is evident from the blogs and emails posted by parents (many of them received by Times City everyday) on rules being flouted by various schools. DoE said it has not acted against any school so far because it has not received any written complaints from parents. "As the parents hesitate to approach DoE to lodge complaints, we thought we could fill that gap. Through ASAR, we will collect complaints from parents and route them to the right authority. ASAR also aims at bringing systemic changes so that such violations do not happen again next year,'' said R Baladevan, associate director, Centre for Civil Society.

The main issues troubling parents this nursery admission season are expensive prospectus which often contain the application form. The other is some schools grilling parents in the garb of interaction and other high-end schools seeking funds as donations. "I was asked to pay Rs 225 for the prospectus in a school in west Delhi. However, the school only gave the receipt of Rs 25 for the form inside the prospectus. I felt cheated but didn't object because there were many other parents taking the prospectus without raising a voice,'' said Kanta Sharma (name changed), a parent of a three-year-old.

Another parent, Rajesh Srivastav (name changed) said his child was given a puzzle to solve when they went for interaction to a school in south Delhi last month. "I didn't know how to file a complaint with DoE. I was anyway in two minds about taking action,'' he said.

According to DoE, it has not received any complaint so far. "Somebody will have to come forward. We can't take any action unless such violations are pointed out by the parents,'' said Chandrabhushan Kumar, director, DoE. ASAR sources said DoE will get enough information to act on if the initiative picks up. Added Baladevan, "Parents can opt not to disclose their names. We also want suggestions from them.''

Read the story in Times of India

 

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