Teetotaller, vegetarian parents preferred over drinkers, non-vegetarians

If you’re an alcohol-guzzling, cigarette-smoking, non-vegetarian parent of a child just about ready to enter school, then the chances of your child landing the coveted nursery seat might be lower than that of a child born to a teetotaller, non-smoking, vegetarian parent. Mystified? Read on.

Water-tight guidelines on nursery admissions released last month were hailed as just what was needed in a city where the number of children ready to enrol in school is four times more than the seat availability. Unfortunately, they are being constantly flouted brazenly, and in some cases, ridiculously.

“The school responsible for giving additional points to children with parents who are vegetarians and teetotallers is a minority institution. The Delhi High Court did rule recently that minority institutions are allowed to add some more criteria for admissions, however, this is plain ridiculous. How can the institution check if the parent is vegetarian or a non-vegetarian?” asked Sumit Vohra of admissionsnursery.com.

If you did not admit your child to school by age three, then it could also be a disadvantage in some schools — contrary to the Directorate of Education guidelines in which there can be no upper age limit to admit a child. Some schools have also refused to admit children at all, stating there is no vacancy at the entry level, also contradicting the guidelines where it is mandatory to admit children at the entry level.

Some schools have refused to accept residential proofs that have been allowed by the Directorate of Education, insisting on specific proofs like passports.

According to the guidelines on nursery admissions released by the Lieutenant Governor last month, admissions into nursery schools will have to be done only on the basis of four criteria — “neighbourhood up to eight kilometers, sibling studying in the school, parent alumni in the school and inter-transfer case”.

Management quotas were also done away with and livid private schools took the matter to court. The High Court refused to stay the notification and the matter is now up for hearing on Friday before the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, admissions have already begun in many schools, but parents are apprehensive to apply. “Many parents think that if the Supreme Court rules in favour of the schools, then their applications may be at a disadvantage. If the criteria get changed and they apply again, they fear their applications may be rejected on the basis of duplication. Some also don’t want to go ahead and buy expensive forms only to buy them again after the verdict,” added Mr. Vohra.

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