The confusing point system

The confusing point system

The point system introduced in the nursery school admissions has come under the scanner with parents calling it ‘biased’.

The system which was introduced to escape the inconsistencies in the nursery admissions process didn’t work out as expected when implemented.

While the schools were given powers to decide on the weightage of points to be allotted in every category, they were also allowed to include or exclude the number and type of categories they deem fit.

Last year’s reports showed that most schools gave more points in the sibling and alumni criteria. Parents felt that such high mark-up on the two categories lessened the chances for firstborn’s and non-alumni parents.

Even though many parents and some schools under the banner of the Delhi State Private Schools Management Association had written to the Directorate of Education, seeking scrapping of the sibling and alumni criteria, they figure prominently in the points’ breakdown of many prominent schools.

Though the schools this year gave enough weightage to the the two categories, some also came up with other categories like adopted child, twin child, single parent, parents hailing from inter-cultural backgrounds,minorities and disabled. Cambridge School, New Friends Colony, awarded points to parents coming from inter-cultural backgrounds.

A particular school is offering five points for the adopted girl child, and two for the adopted boy. Some schools like Sanskriti, run by the wives of defence personnels awarded points to children coming from defence background. Other categories like management, staff, girl child, distance, transfer case were followed by most of the schools.

“Categories like girl child, single parent, transfer case should be scrapped. If a parent wants their ward gets admitted in school it does not matter if the child is a girl or a boy.
Then single parent is also after all a parent, so why another category? Transfer case category should be for schools which have branches all over the country like Kendriya Vidyalayas. If these categories are scrapped, more points can be distributed to other categories,” said R C Jain, president of the Delhi State Public Schools Management Association.

This year some schools introduced a new category system where the break-up of categories was in percentage instead of points. Parents and experts feel this system is better than the point system as there are reserved seats for the general category students who do not come under any category. Schools like Apeejay and Bal Bharati had seats reserved for the general category students. “To ensure a smooth nursery admission process,” said a senior official of Apeejay School.

The sale of forms for nursery admissions which started on January 2 brought out reports of schools flouting the Directorate of Education guidelines.

Schools flouted guidelines—selling forms at high rates (anywhere between Rs 200 and  Rs 600) against the mandated Rs 25, making income- and education-related queries from parents; asking parents to provide documents which are not mentioned in the DoE guidelines for the EWS category  and schools refusing to acknowledge forms.

Schools which were initially against the idea of keeping 25 per cent seats reserved for the EWS category arguing that it would lessen the seats for the general category students, have accepted it, though, reluctantly.

Recently, the Delhi government warned schools it would cancel the nursery admission process for any school that was found violating guidelines by asking details of educational qualification and financial status of parents.

Education minister Arvinder Singh Lovely had recently said all public schools would be under obligation to admit 25 per cent of the students belonging to the weaker section and provide for free and compulsory elementary education.

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