Come January, parents of young children are filled with anxiety to ensure their children get admission in reputed schools. School managements come under pressure from various quarters. It is not just kindergarten admission that is going to be a tough nut to crack, but parents who are waiting to put their wards in sixth standard or in Plus One in leading schools such as TVS, Mahatma, SBOA and Vikaasa will also feel the heat.
The same scenario applies at the Kendriya Vidyalaya and OCPM Girls School where one has to be lucky to get an admission in 6th class. Ultimately, it is the Principals who must face the pressure.
“Giving admission to LKG, first standard and sixth class will be a daunting task. Now, the Government order says that we must have only four sections for 120 children. Right now, the registration for LKG is over and admissions will be made after May 15,” says S. Premalatha, Senior Principal, Mahatma Group of Schools.
If the kindergarten sections are reduced from six to four, then several parents will have to return disappointed. The three schools of Mahatma- at K. K. Nagar, Baba Building and CBSE- are in great demand and school authorities will be compelled to say sorry to parents.
Ms. Premalatha, who started Mahatma School in a small way in 1983, is proud of the reputation enjoyed by the school but was worried that she might have to say no to anxious parents.
“We received more than 1,000 applications for LKG alone in K. K. Nagar and 500 applications for our CBSE school. If parents want an assurance from me about seats, what can I say now? They have no other go but wait till May 15,” she says. For other classes, the admission process begins only after May 20.
Another situation faced by schools, Ms. Premalatha says, is the pressure of recommendations from officials and politicians. However, if a family has a child studying in Mahatma, then the same parents will get priority if they want to admit another child there.
“At the moment, I am unable to even go out because people come with requests. Sometimes, my staff will not allow anyone to meet me. After the Class X results are out, then comes high pressure for Plus One admission in the science group. From December to June, every day is a tough day,” she laments.
A very clear message has been given to parents by another popular institution, the TVS Schools, both Lakshmi and Matriculation.
“We will take requisitions in January/ February for LKG alone and admission will be given only after April. For other classes (UKG to 10th), there are no vacancies,” says R. Srinivasan, Director, TVS Group of Schools.
For each TVS school, over 800 requests have come last year for LKG admission while it can admit about 350 children. That too, preference will be given for employees of TVS companies.
Mr. Srinivasan says that parents have already started giving requisition in writing and the school management will form a committee to scrutinise them.
“We cannot commit anything now for kindergarten. For other classes, the chances of admission are very bleak,” he cautions. The TVS Group Schools are also following the norms of Right to Education Act which stipulates certain seats for deserving sections.
In Vikaasa School which is another sought after institution, the child’s age is the criteria. For pre-KG, it should be two-and-half years and above while it has to be three-and-half years and above for LKG.
Requests for admission will be taken from January third week and the actual process will begin only in April.
A. Sudhakaran, Principal, Vikaasa School, says that a lot of applications have to be filtered before finalising the list. “Every year, we decline at least 400 applications for LKG. We don’t issue any applications now, but take only written requests. Our school understands parents’ anxiety,” he said. The going may not be easy for admission to classes one and six also.
There are many parents who look towards Kendriya Vidyalaya despite knowing that the chances of entry are dim. At KV-1 the admission process would be over by end of March. Intake for first standard is 164 children for which the school received 1,600 applications last year.
Since the employees of Central Government and public sector undertakings get priority, it is tough for general category to get admission.
C. Muthiah, Principal, KV-1, says that there are five categories in admissions and the general public/private employees come in the last category.
The school follows RTE guidelines and last year 25 per cent of vacancies were allotted for downtrodden/economically weaker sections.
SBOA School and OCPM
In SBOA School, issue of applications will be restricted in view of the limited number of seats.
School authorities said that LKG admission process - four sections and 120 children - begins in February while intimation to parents would be given only in the month of May. Also, this school sees a great demand for sixth standard.
A popular Government-aided institution- O. C. P. M. Girls Higher Secondary School- is all set to meet a huge demand for first standard and sixth class admission this year.
“Month of May is a crisis period for me because admissions start then. My appeal to parents is not to get disappointed if they fail to get a seat,” says C. Udhayakumari, Headmistress. This school has to meet a lot of recommendations from Government officials and other quarters.
If the reactions from these select schools are an indication, it is going to be a hot summer for parents in Madurai who have to make several rounds to get admission for their children. Some will be lucky, and for others it is better luck next time.