Parents want an admission watchdog

Pre-admision fever catching on as City schools start issuing application forms for next academic year

Also, parents are dissatisfied about lack of an admission watchdog. Parents blame lack of transparency in admission policies and uniform calendar of events as reasons for confusion during the admission and would prefer a watchdog to oversee admissions.

The parents’ concerns are rising, with a few schools in the City starting to issue application forms for admissions for  next academic year, even as the mid-term examinations of the current academic year have just concluded.

“In many schools admission policies are not clear. Also, schools most often do not consider whether the children seeking admission live close to the school,” said Ravi Noronha, a parent.  Right to Education Act (RTE) stipulates that schools should accord priority to children who live near the school. However, many parents are doubtful about the rule providing any respite to them.

“I am planning to buy applications from five top schools. As there is no guarantee that your child would get into your chosen school,” said Indu A, a parent.

Principal Secretary of Primary Education Nadadur dubs the practice of issuing application forms much ahead of the academic year as wrong.

The department will take stringent action against the erring schools, he noted. The Department of Public Instruction has instructed government schools not to start the admission process before April. However, CBSE and ICSE schools are not governed by this rule, he added.

According to the RTE, state governments or local authorities authorised by the respective state government may devise a system, which would enable all children to get admitted in neighbourhood schools.

As per the Act, all schools, government, aided and un-aided, in a neighbourhood shall be grouped together so as to evolve a common pattern for admission of children. Moreover, schools have been given three years time to implement all the clauses mentioned in the Act.

Block Education Officer would notify a calendar of events to be followed by all schools situated in respective education block, for amdission of children, as per the rules. Any schools violating these rules are liable to be blacklisted according to the Act.

But the schools contend that uniform calendar of events is not a feasible idea. “There are numerous boards with different calendars. Thus, having a common calendar without a common curriculum does not seem a practical idea,” explained a principal of a City school. Quotas are treated as the last resort by many parents, as some schools have allotted quotas for students hailing from the same religious group.

“If all means to secure a seat are exhausted, my daughter will still be able to get an admission in a girls school run by my religious group,” observed a parent.

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