New Delhi Schools want management quota for admissions

By Madhurie Singh, December 25, 2013

Warning that “any fixed criteria would affect parents seeking admissions adversely”, schools in the capital have asked Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung to “follow the same procedure as last year” for conducting nursery admissions. Schools also criticised the new parameters for admission and have sought reinstatement of the management quota in the interest of their “commitments and responsibilities”. The schools are now awaiting the L-G’s response, before zeroing on any future course of action.

Under the new norms, all discretionary powers, including a 20 per cent management quota, have been taken away from schools who now have to follow a common criteria for admission which heavily favours students living within 6 km from a school.

In a 10-page memorandum, the National Progressive Schools Conference, an umbrella body of over 2,000 recognised schools, opposed the guidelines, claiming that they do not offer “flexibility to schools” and violate their “autonomy”.

“We find that the flexibility given to schools has been completely removed because of its (the order’s) rigidity. It is student-unfriendly, dilutes quality education, is parent-unfriendly and infringing upon the rights of the child where there are no good schools,” the memorandum read.

Dismissing the parameters as “discriminatory and impractical”, the letter makes a case against all fixed criteria prescribed in the new guidelines. Questioning the rationale of the 6-km neighbourhood criterion, the memorandum stated, “Delhi lacks good private schools in certain areas and is still not ready for neighbourhood criteria.”

Meanwhile, the All India Association of Parents wrote to the Directorate of Education. They called the schools’ demands “motivated, unfounded and unconcerned with children’s interests”. Saying that the management quota has been misused by schools and is a major source of corruption, it has asked schools to produce data on “how they used the discretionary quota for the good of deserving cases”.

It further supports the new guidelines, citing a 2005 High Court order that had observed that “admission criteria should be uniform, transparent and should curb the discretion of school management in matters of admission”.


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