Form-filling ends for nursery admission, confusion persists

Many parents still left wondering about fate of their children

The process for filling application forms for nursery admission ended on Friday for general category, but not without having its own share of problems and leaving parents confused till the last day.

The controversy-prone nursery admissions started on January 1 for both the general and the economically weaker sections category. The process has undergone many changes with each passing year and several court hearings of petitions by the government and the schools alike.

Despite attempts by authorities to make things easier for parents, they were left confused. For example, Dev Mishra is still wondering how many points his child will be getting according to the criteria set by Apeejay School. It is one of the few schools which have no point for distance (neighbourhood criteria). It was also among those schools which had revised its criteria after the government scrapped management quota.

According to its old criteria, it had given seven points to girl child or firstborn child and had removed them after the government scrapped 62 criteria along with quotas. However, the High Court later observed that the schools may revert to their old point system to avoid any confusion. But Apeejay is still accepting forms on the basis of the revised criteria which only has points for siblings or alumni.

“There are no point for distance and firstborn, so virtually, I have no point. Apeejay Saket was the nearest for my child. We submitted the forms after so much effort and now we see that it is of no use. We at least had some hope with the previous system,” Mishra said.

Another parent said, “If someone is not associated or has been part of any Apeejay School or society then he has no chance. I am wondering why their admission process was even open to public. They could have published a notification within their own institutions, staff members and for alumni only”.

“Parents are in utter confusion and even as of today they are not aware where they stand. This type of uncertainty was not seen before even if court cases were going on. To avoid the same scenario next year, the government should amend the 1973 DSER Act and remove management quota,” said education activist Sumit Vohra.

“Moreover, a lot of schools have misused their autonomy, so it should focus on upgrading government schools and improving their quality,” Vohra said.

Saurabh Singh was able to fill forms only in eight schools. But even on the last day, he is unsure whether his applications would be accepted by any of them as the issue of rent deed as a valid residential proof remains unresolved.

“Initially all the schools rejected my child’s application, but finally some started accepting it. I would have been able to fill more forms had the government added the rent deed in the valid document list,” he said.

Many like Singh, who are living on rent, have faced similar problems this year. Till last year, rent deed was an acceptable document.

“I am still not sure that schools which have accepted applications are going to select my child. I would never come to know why they cancelled as no reasons are given at the end,” he added.

There are others who felt that the schools uploading online forms made the process “cumbersome” rather than easy. “For most schools, we have to physically go and submit the forms. So what’s the point of the online process? I had to take five to six offs from my office in these 22 days,” said another parent.

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