Kejriwal scraps management quota in nursery admissions

Delhi govt warns schools of action

Kejriwal scraps management quota  in nursery admissions

Six days into the nursery admissions process, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday cancelled the management quota and 62 other ‘arbitrary criteria’ set by private schools for nursery admissions.

The only reservation in schools now will be for poor students.

The chief minister warned that the government may consider taking over institutions that fail to fall in line and stop the “scandal” under the garb of management quota.

Just weeks ago, the Kejriwal government had said that private schools were free to set their own admission criteria. But this announcement overturns that decision.

“Seventy-five per cent admissions in the private schools will be under open category. Other than EWS (Economically Weaker Section) category, there will be no other quota,” Kejriwal told reporters.

‘Populist politics’
Officials of some private schools said the tinkering with criteria in the middle of the process is sure to spark chaos and litigation, delaying the whole admission process.

They called the announcement an outcome of populist politics.

Apart from the management quota, the government has struck down conventionally accepted admission criteria like siblings, alumni, girl child and school-specific criteria, Kejriwal said while announcing the drastic decision taken by his Cabinet.

“The mafia had captured the education system and made it a business. The government will not tolerate this,” he said.

Kejriwal said the decision to scrap the arbitrary criteria was taken to bring more transparency in the admission process in private schools that were misusing the management quota.

All schools will need to reserve 25 per cent seats for the EWS.

The decision came in the midst of the admission process for nursery classes in over 2,500 private schools in the Capital.

In the first week of December, the Delhi government allowed schools to devise their own criteria and upload them on their websites.

The freedom given to schools was in line with the Delhi High Court’s direction to the Delhi government not to take away the schools’ autonomy and avoid micro-managing the admission process.

While suggesting a 100-point admission criteria, the Ashok Ganguly Committee in its 2007 report had suggested points for neighbourhood, siblings, girl child and disability, among others.

The Ganguly panel set up by Delhi High Court had left 15 points for the schools to decide themselves for admission under categories like children of craftsmen, transferred defence, paramilitary and police personnel and of other transferable government employees.

The schools claimed the management quota was part of the committee’s report.
Kejriwal justified the Cabinet’s decision and said he would tell the court that the management quota is the biggest scandal and should be stopped.

A matter related to nursery admissions is likely to come up in the high court later this month.

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