Parents willing to shift homes for kids' sake

Parents of some young children in the capital are contemplating taking the extra step of shifting their residence closer to good schools if that can fetch them some crucial extra points for nursery admissions to private schools.

New guidelines issued by the Lieutenant Governor mandated the schools to award 70 out of 100 points for those living within a radius of eight kilometers from the school. While the intention behind these guidelines cannot be doubted, it has left many parents frustrated.

“I will be shifting from Punjabi Bagh to another area where good schools are in abundance. I am willing to travel any distance to meet the guidelines,” says Pinki Kalia, mother of a three-year-old child. She says had the guidelines came a little earlier, it would have made things easier for her family.

Kriti Chadha, mother of a boy seeking admission this year, says there should be even distribution of good private schools in all areas of Delhi. Shifting house not being a viable option for her, she depended on the 20 per cent management quota. With that also abolished, she feels desperate.

“I am neither an alumna of the target schools, nor do I live within the 8 km radius of any good school. Since I have only a son, he neither gets sibling points nor does he come under the five per cent girl’s criteria. Basically, we are left with zero points. Where do we go,” asks Chadha.

A resident of Chanakyapuri in south Delhi, she rues the lack of desirable schools in the area. “There are as many as 15 schools in Vasant Kunj. The two good schools in my area are minority schools giving preference to children of army personnel and bureaucrats,” complains Chadha.

She says the management quota should not have been abolished so that at least those with no choice but with money at least have some options.

“What do you do if you stay in an area like Rani Bagh or Rohini? There are people with money but no close access to many good schools. Should they all shift their homes or suffer,” she says.

Then there are parents who are seeking admissions in schools in Noida just to secure their seats in case they cannot make it to any school in Delhi. “I know friends who applied to as many as 26 schools last year and did not get through any. I don’t want to take such a risk,” says Sapna, another mother.

She says parents of some children who went to the same playschool as her child were forced to continue their children in the same playschool despite them turning as old as four-and-a-half years old.

Afraid of the future and uncertainty, she has opted for schools in Noida as an alternative as Delhi’s rules do not apply there. But these are only desperate measures. “I have paid hefty fees at two schools in Noida, one 12 km away and another 16 km. If my child gets admission in a Delhi school and I decide to choose it, I will have to forfeit all the money paid to the Noida schools,” she says.

She also had to give an undertaking that the drop and pick-up of the child would be the parents’ responsibility. She says there are some good schools in Defence Colony where she lives, but the choices are not enough. “There might be good schools here, but I might be keen on a school in Vasant Kunj. I want choice,” she says as a matter of fact.Some other parents, however, look at some of the brighter sides. “At least now there are no points for children with single mothers, widowed mothers and the likes. That betters our chance,” says Raghu Kalra, a resident of Vasant Kunj. 

He, however, insists that in metropolitan cities the distance limit should be at least 12 km. 

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