Two Apeejay schools pick same children as parents cry foul

Management justifies using computerised lottery system for candidate selection

Two branches of Apeejay schools, in Shikh Sarai and Saket have 29 same names on their separate nursery admission lists of about 70 students each. 

Parents and experts said they have flouted rules as the application forms, submitted before the selection, suggest screening of families which is not permitted under the Right To Education Act.

Parents ask how can these schools have similar names when over 3,000 applications were submitted for nursery admissions in the 2012-13 session. 

But schools have attributed this similarity to selection of candidates under the Representative Affirmative Action (RAA) category.

Apeejay schools have defined this category as: “The category of RAA has been made to ensure that the incoming class into a school is as diverse as possible, representing a wide array of society and all walks of life. 

“Therefore, under the RAA category, the school management would like to admit children from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, depending upon the number of applications received. The RAA category would also include management seats.”

Parents allege that the definition is not clear. 

Selection process

“I have tried to ask the management about the selection process under RAA but they refused to answer. They have followed their own process of selection and are not transparent. The application form had questions about my family’s professional background,” said Kaushik Chatterjee, a parent who applied in 17 schools but could not get a seat for his son. 

Procedure wrong

Sumit Vohra, founder of www.admissionsnursery.com, believes that schools have screened parents and selected the best candidates instead of following the correct procedure. 

“How can two lists have 29 same names? There have been several complaints about lack of clarity by schools on the definition of RAA. The authorities did not call parents for a draw and they have not mentioned the points given to each child in their lists. The situation was similar last year,” he said.

However, Apeejay school management said they have been fair during the admission process. 

“We do not believe in taking donations so we have a system of computerised lottery system under the RAA category. We select people from diverse professions and the computer selects the candidates randomly. 

Since both schools are in close proximity, we get applications from almost the same candidates whose parents belong to the same profession. 

“When the random selection takes place, the computer tends to select the same candidates. That is why we have a larger waiting list because we do not want to be unfair,” said A P Sharma, principal, Apeejay school, Sheikh Sarai.  

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