Midway into academic year, schools start admissions

Education department yet to come up with calendar of eventsShruthi H M Bangalore: Even as schools are yet to reopen after midterm vacations, several

Midway into academic year, schools start admissions

Even as schools are yet to reopen after midterm vacations, several private schools in the City have already begun the admission process for the academic year 2014-15.

Schools are mandated to follow the academic calendar issued by the Education Department and issue of application or starting the admissions now would amount to violation of norms. However, several schools started to issue applications last month, while some have even closed the process. Meanwhile, the Education Department is yet to take up drafting the calendar of events for the next academic year.

“We will take a decision by next week. It is not yet sure whether the schools will be permitted to begin admissions from January or later. It is too premature to speculate now. There will be some clarity in a week or two,” said DPI Director (Primary Education) A Deva Prakash.

On website

Presenting an instance to the contrary, the website of one of the private schools in Malleswaram said: “Expression of Interest forms for admission can be submitted from 1st to 8th October 2013. The last date for submitting Expression of Interest forms for nursery and LKG will be 8th October 2013.” A popular school in Banashankari mentioned on its website that parents could download applications from November 6, 2013 and the last date for submitting the forms was December 2.

Among the schools that have begun the application process, some are State board schools, while others follow Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) syllabus. The latter category of schools may not be obliged to follow the State government’s calendar, but the problem arises with regard to the admissions under the RTE quota.

Some school managements have assured the parents that the 25 per cent under the RTE Act reserved for students from economically weaker sections will be kept vacant until the government gives permission for admissions to the next academic year.

However, parents felt that they cannot not bank on assurances of schools.

“Last year, I had applied for a seat for my daughter under the RTE quota. Seats were not available in several schools and until the last moment, we were not sure whether we would get a seat at all. This year, one of my nephews has to be enrolled in school.

We are a bit worried about the status of admissions by the time the government announces the dates. What if we do not get and a whole year goes waste because by then, admissions under general category would already be completed?” said Nagesh, whose daughter is currently in class I at a school in Banashankari.

Deva Prakash, however, said the department would not be able to initiate action unless parents registered a complaint. “If the parents approach us and complain, we will be able to decide the kind of action that should be initiated against the schools,” he added.

Entrance tests

Early admissions apart, some schools are also conducting entrance tests for admissions to class I that involves aptitude test in Mathematics and language, in addition to interview with the school principal. Conducting entrance tests is also in violation of Section 13 of RTE Act. It provides that any school conducting screening procedure for admissions will invite a fine of Rs 25,000 for the first contravention and Rs 50,000 for each subsequent contravention.

RTE Monitoring Committee Chairperson Nagasimha G Rao felt that the department should take action on its own, instead of waiting for complaints. “Parents fear complaints. They are hesitant to approach government officials. There is no point in letting schools go scot-free when they are violating norms,” he said.

Last year too, a similar situation was seen and the department had assured to take action against as many as 1,300 schools for flouting admission norms. However, no progress has been heard on it till date, he pointed out. Further, in case of CBSE schools racing ahead against the State government schedule, the Department should have a dialogue with either the schools or the CBSE officials and ask them to hold admissions till January, so that all students can benefit, he suggested.

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