Nursery admissions back, parents fear of management quotas comeback

October 10, 2014

School associations are weighing in with their views of what the guidelines for nursery admissions should be for the 2014-15 round, but parents are worried the management quota will make a comeback. One of the most staunchly contested changes made by the LG and the Directorate of Education last year was the abolishing of the 20% management quota. It had incensed schools but pleased many parents. "Abolishing the management quota was a good move," says Deepak Joshi, a Shalimar Bagh-based parent who'll be applying this year for his daughter, a first child. "It gives everyone an equal chance. Else, schools block seats and that reduces the number available." Joshi knows the guidelines are being revised again. "Giving weight to distance works for me because I won't get alumni or sibling points," he says. For admission, a total of 100 points are distributed over various parameters. Till 2012-13, schools were allowed to select these criteria but in 2013, the parameters and points allotted to them were fixed by the DoE. The DoE not only took away the management quota, but created a quota for girls and fixed categories into distance, alumni, sibling and transfer cases. The change led to numerous court cases that delayed admissions till May. This year, guidelines are expected to be declared early and school associations have been writing to the DoE as wary parents wait. Dwarka parent Lokesh, an IT professional, is dead against management quota. "These quotas are converted into donation seats. Desperate parents whose kids don't qualify pay up. I've heard of schools taking donations even from sibling cases," he says. While this is a common perception among parents, school managements argue that not having any say in who they admit has caused great inconvenience. "It is a well known fact that officers, politicians, social workers generally recommend admissions. It becomes extremely embarrassing to refuse admission and this leads to unpleasant situations," says a letter to the chief secretary of Delhi from one. School authorities have also argued that without the quota, they are unable to help those who have supported the school. "Even if school managements are allowed to set aside some seats, are the authorities ready to get that audited?" asks Sumit Vohra of admissionsnursery.com. "Also, will admissions to these be open to scrutiny?" The problem is, argues Vohra, that "parents are never called for discussions before forming guidelines while they are major stakeholders."

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