Most private unaided schools in the city are so livid that they are considering the possibility of taking legal recourse against the nursery admission guidelines released by the Lieutenant-Governor’s office on Wednesday. The water-tight criteria and the specific weightage prescribed to each has been termed “ludicrous,” and “arbitrary”, while the Lieutenant-Governor’s office has been accused of ignoring the opinion of respected educationists.

“We have written, made phone calls and also appealed to meet the L-G, but we have been consistently ignored just because we are not sitting on a dharna. Educationists who have been honoured nationally have submitted their opinion which has been ignored and the guidelines have been issued arbitrarily thoughtlessly,” said National Progressive School Conference executive chairman Ameeta Mulla Wattal, who is also the principal of Springdales School.

She was very clear that the “management quota” which most activists sought to colour with suspicion was not something that her organisation - which has the membership of most private schools in the city - was actually bothered about and it was the points that were awarded to each criteria and the manner in which they were supposed to go about it, that was harmful for the school, the parent and the child.

“The order prescribes that neighbourhood which has to be allotted 70 points be measured only up to 6 km, this is ludicrous in a city like Delhi. There are about 10 schools located within the area of our school and in some areas there are no schools at all. Places like North Delhi hardly have any schools and other areas like the East and South have about 40 to 50 schools between them. Where are children who have no schools in the neighbourhood supposed to go?” she asked adding that in the past the schools usually adjusted the criteria based on the profiles of their applicants. “It is disadvantageous to those whose siblings have already been admitted last year. If we admitted a child who was living 7 km away last year, we will not be able to admit the brother who applies this year.”

The issue of just a five per cent quota for girls was also a sore point. “Around 80 per cent of the children who apply are boys. The quota for girls in the new order is also done through neighbourhood among them and this is severely disadvantageous to the girl child. I speak from experience which unfortunately along with the experience of other educationists like me has just been brushed aside. We will be forced to take legal recourse if we continue to be ignored like this,” she said.

Surprisingly, her sentiments were somewhat echoed by activists who have been advocating a change in the guidelines for many years now. “Neighbourhood which has been allotted 70 points doesn’t fit well with areas such as Chhatarpur, Sainik Farms and the remote areas and some areas of East and Central Delhi where hardly any good school falls within the six kilometre radius. The minimum radius should have had been 10 km. Also, if a first child studies at a school situated 10 km away from home and the parents want to admit their second child in the same school they then will be allotted only 20 points that are prescribed under the sibling criteria,” said Sumit Vohra of nurseryadmissions.com.

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