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Home > Media Room > SCC in News

Playschools train parents for admission

Indian Express, 18 November 09

FIGHT FOR SEATS: After preparing children, playschools teach parents the ABCs of admission process.

  • Veena Garg, a chartered accountant, wanted her son Akshat (3) to come out of his shell and mingle with others. “A playschool was the best place where he could learn to adjust with others and form his own friend circle,” she says. “A few months in playschool, and he now recognises colours and shapes and can recall numbers and alphabets.”
  • Vandana Sharma attended a parent orientation meet at the Shemrock Heritage School in Rohini, where her son Vansh is enrolled since July. “The nursery admissions process has changed over the last few years,” she says, “I was at sea with the points allocation system. The orientation programme was very helpful.”

The sale of nursery admissions forms, as decreed by the Directorate of Education, might start from December 15 in city schools, but parents like Sharma and Garg have been preparing their kids for the annual drama called nursery admissions for many months.

Says Sharma. “The playschool has helped him in many ways. Most importantly, he’s prepared for a formal school now.”

While these schools prepare children for the next stage, many of these playschools have also started tutoring parents in view of the approaching nursery admissions. Says Deepika Vaibhav, whose daughter Anushka is in Shemrock Kids School, “I attended one parent orientation programme at the school. They told me about the various documents and affidavits I need at the time of admissions.”

Back to school

While the points systems for admissions, being followed by the schools, leave most parents confused, these orientation programmes are coming in handy, says Sharma.

Like Sharma, many parents, especially those making the rounds of nursery schools for the first time, are unable to crack the points system, which was recommended by the Ashok Ganguly Committee to ensure a fair admission process. Under this system, the school’s proximity to the child’s residence, parents in the alumni and siblings studying in the same institution get additional weightage.

The orientation programme “tells us about the marking scheme, and about the various documents we need to keep handy. We wouldn’t have known these otherwise”, Sharma adds.

Added guidance

Another chain of playschools in Delhi, Mother’s Pride, is also gearing up for these sessions. “The school organises seminars on parenting. I attended one on ‘forcing food to children and its implications’,” said Vaibhav. “They have these seminars throughout the year,” she added.

“We will be starting these sessions later this month,” said Harpreet Kaur of Mother’s Pride.

Sarita Dayal, spokesperson of Mother’s Pride said, “We have parenting seminars and there is a guidance cell in every branch of our schools. Parents come with queries and we try to help them.”

Mother’s Pride has also put up guidelines regarding the filling up of admission forms and other “valuable tips during parent interaction” on their website. A sample admission form for admission to a formal school is also available.

A Kidzee official says, “Children who attend preschool enter the formal school with better reading skills, richer vocabulary and stronger basic math skills. This facilitates an easy transition from preschools to formal schools.”

How heavy on the pocket?

While most schools refused to comment on their fee structure, parents like Sharma said, “The fees for these school are, of course, escalating, but we don’t want to take chances with my son’s admission.”

A few parents even claimed schools select children on the basis of the playschool they have attended. “My friends told me that at an interaction they were asked about the playschool their child had attended,” said a parent.

School principals were, however, divided on the opinion about the importance of these orientation sessions.

Jyoti Bose, Principal, Springdales School, Dhaula Kuan, said, “The admission process has changed. According to law, there can be no interaction with the child or the parents before selection. The interaction happens only after the selection. So there is no need to have orientation for parents.”


Read the story in Indian Express



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