LKG, Class I admissions before January will be void: circular

Even as the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) issued a notice that all LKG and Class 1 admissions in private schools for the next academic year (2014 -2015) made before January will be considered void, several private schools in Bangalore openly flouted the department’s order by launching the admission process.

When school managements were contacted about the admission schedule, many insisted that parents should apply and complete the admission process by the end of this month (December). Some offered to fix appointments for parents for a tour of the schools to know more about the fee structure, syllabus and the schools’ infrastructure.

Schools, including Primus Public School, Achiever’s Academy, Brookfield High and Tadmore Academy, admitted that they had started the admission process. Schools such as the Ekya School of JP Nagar even mentioned that the admissions for the next academic year for LKG and Class I had closed as the process had begun in September.

When the department’s warning against starting admission process was brought to their notice, the representatives said that they were merely “filtering” eligible students and conducting interviews. Some also said that they were unaware of the notice and would seek a clarification from the department.

Balu Pandian, Chairman of Brookfield High, said that the school was collecting a post-dated cheque. “There will be no seats in any school in April. Parents will not wait till the last minute to get their child admitted,” he said.

Some schools have displayed their admission schedule and criteria on the website. For instance, the website of National Public School, Banashankari, stated that the last date to apply for admissions was December 9, 2013. “Admissions to Montessori (1st Year), KG1 and KG2 is purely on interview of the child along with the parents,” says the website. It further states: “Admissions to Grade 1 to 9 and 11 are finalised on the performance of the child in the admission test conducted by the school.”

This violates section 13 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act which states that any school that subjects a child to a screening procedure could be penalised with a fine of Rs. 25,000 for breaching this for the first time and Rs. 50,000 subsequently.

B. Gireesh Kumar, who had applied for admissions for his daughter for nursery at Sri Aurobindo Memorial School, said: “The school management informed us that if we do not get a call by next week, it means that our child has not got admission.”

Asked if he was unaware of the department’s direction on admissions made now being invalid, he accused the school managements of “exploiting the anxiety of parents”.

Acknowledging that admissions had begun in many schools, Mohammad Mohsin, Commissioner for Public Instruction, said that if the department found any school that had begun admission process, it would de-recognise the State board school and write to the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education and the Central Board of Secondary Education Board to withdraw affiliation of schools that failed it abide by the order, besides cancelling the No Objection Certificate.

Though Education Department officials in their earlier circulars issued in November stated that they will crack the whip on private schools which had begun admissions, the officials seem to have done very little in this regard. The officers have only sent circulars to all schools in their jurisdiction.

S.B. Manjunath, Deputy Director of Public Instruction (DDPI) North, said that one school had begun admissions in his jurisdiction. He said that he would send a notice shortly and thereafter write to higher officials to withdraw NOC of the school.

Padmavathi, DDPI, Bangalore South, said, “I have not received any complaint so far. Parents should come forward to file complaints and we can then initiate action against errant schools.”

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