Free run for schools in nursery admissions

Except parent education qualification and parent’s income criteria, schools can fix any category

jasleen

Jasleen Kaur | December 15, 2010



Schools in Delhi are free to frame their own guidelines for nursery admissions in the coming session, state education minister Arvinder Singh said on Wednesday at a press conference.

However, it did lay down one rule to be adhered to - schools can not ask for parents' qualifications or their income or any such criteria which may be the basis for class discrimination.

Proximity to residence, siblings who are alumni, single parents, female candidate - these are few of the criteria that could be used by the schools for admissions, the minister clarified.

Singh said that according to the HRD guidelines schools are free to identify any category based on principles that are fair, just and reasonable within the ambit of RTE act and are not favoring any one.

Effectively, the government has decided not to tinker with what the schools have been using as alodestar for admissions since the last three years, except for doing away with discrimnatory criteria. The minister said the system will be a “mixture of criteria and lottery.”

Schools, however, are required to get their set of criteria cleared by the state department of education. Once cleared, the schools will have to announce the same through their respective prospectus, websites and display boards.

Singh did not rule out a point system and said schools can retain it provided they distribute the categories in a 100-point system. The minister said, "We cannot fix one category for all schools as each school is different. For example, there are schools which are not located near residential areas so they do not prefer neighborhood criteria.”

RTE guidelines had caused much flap amongst parents and schools, saying that admissions were to be made in a random manner, to steer clear of discrimination.

The Delhi government had sought clarifications from the centre following which Singh said that the word was used to denote equal opportunity for all children and “if there are children not falling under any category, then schools can admit them through random selection by a lottery system.”

Under RTE norms all schools will have to reserve 25 pc of the seats for students belonging to economically weaker sections (EWS). Those schools which already reserve 15 pc of their seats for such students will ahve to increase it to the specified number. Thelegislation also makes it mandatory for schools to fill all such seats. In case they fail to do so, they are required to inform the DoE about it.

While the minister acknowledged that management quota had fallen out of favour with schools and the DoE both, he said that schools may reserve upto 20 pc of the seats from the 75 earmarked for the general category.

The minimum age for admission will remain the same i.e 3 years and older and the admission process would begin from January 1, 2011 and shall be completed by March 31, 2011.

The minster said that the state has largest number of schools and it is assured that “no child will be left out of school”.

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