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Home > Media Room > SCC in News

Ask schools to publish criteria, court to DoE

Indian Express, 19 December 2007

New Delhi The Delhi High Court asked the Directorate of Education at a hearing on Thursday to instruct private, unaided and recognised schools in the city to publish their admissions criteria on their websites.

The Centre for Civil Society (CCS) had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on Monday, asking the court to intervene and ensure that schools follow government guidelines with regards to nursery admissions in the city. The hearing was originally scheduled for Wednesday but had to be postponed.

The court also directed the DoE to come up with a hotline and a website where parents can file complaints. The DoE has till Friday to report back to court about the complaint mechanism, R Baladevan, associate director of CCS, said.

Parents can complain to the director of Education on the DoE website but there is hardly any follow up on these complaints, he said.

One parent said she complained to the DoE on November 18 about a school violating admission guidelines but has not heard from them.

“There are so many blatant violations of the rules. But the DoE has not taken any steps,” Baladevan said. “This will ensure they at least take preventive action. The whole idea is to bring the anomalies to the court’s notice,” he said.

Reputed institutions such as Modern School have not yet made their admissions criteria public, some parents said. According to a DoE circular dated October 27, schools had to disclose the admissions criteria by November 30.

The PIL, which was filed on behalf of parents, also states that all schools must display a break-up of total points for every selected child in order to introduce more transparency.

Many parents have alleged that schools have been asking for hefty donations. Baladevan said many parents have also called the recently launched Action for School Admission Reforms, an initiative set up by the School Choice Campaign and www.nurseryadmissions.com, with grievances about the high cost of prospectuses and registration forms, and interviews of children.

A Supreme Court order directs schools to refrain from observing children in any formal or informal circumstances. The lack of evidence is, however, acting as a deterrent. “We can’t take up these issues now as we have no evidence. A parent has to come and depose before the court,” Baladevan said. “That is why we have taken the other route. When we have a guideline, why not adhere to it,” he said.

Read the story in Indian Express



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