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Home > Media Room > SCC in News

Rush for nursery admissions begins

Times of India, 06 December 2009

Little Reva's father has just managed to obtain an application form for her entry into nursery after standing in queue all night outside the Paranjpe high school in Kothrud.

"When I reached at 8 pm on Thursday night, there were 200 people in front of me. I had no choice but to queue up," he says. "After all, the school had categorically stated that the forms would be distributed for only about two hours. But I stood in queue for some 12 hours and got a form around 8 am the next morning!"

It's that time of the year again. The mad rush for admission to the pre-primary section has started. With a considerable mismatch between the demand for quality education and the availability of seats in reputed schools, the struggle to admit one's child into school is a nightmare.

Reva's parents are trying for several schools in the vicinity of Kothrud. "I hope our kid is able to procure admission soon," says the father. "It's a very tough process, very stressful indeed. What makes it even tougher on us is the fact that schools say the forms are available only for a couple of hours. And why not have school authorities monitoring the queue? If the forms were to be made available in the morning, why could the authorities not prevent parents from standing in line all night?"

It's not just parents who are standing in line. With several schools distributing forms simultaneously, friends are chipping in too. "I am standing here because it is difficult for my working friends to reach out to every school," says a man standing outside the Paranjpe High School. "The competition is mind-boggling, and I understand their anxiety because a strong educational foundation ensures future success," he says. "They have applied to New India school, Abhinav, Paranjpe, Sprindale, and so on. Let's see where they make it."

Chartered accountant Vishal Rathi wonders why schools cannot make forms available online. "It would ease the pressure off the parents considerably. And this will not cost the schools much," he says.

But the process of procuring forms is only the first step. The next includes getting the child ready for the interaction. "My wife is teaching our daughter little sentences in English and the answers to certain basic questions," says Rathi.

For their part, school authorities insist that the process of admission is fair and free. "We have about 200 seats, for which we distributed around 600 forms," says Nisha Rathi, principal of the pre-primary section of the Shamarao Kalmadi High School. "We have a software which selects the names randomly. And it's a transparent process. Our only insistence: the child should be the right age for entry into that particular class."

Similarly, Leena Chaudhary, principal of the Symbiosis School also says the random process of selection decides the day. "Initially, we used to prefer children who stayed at a distance of 3 to 5 km. But this year, we have no such criteria. Only thing is, the child should be at least 2.5-years-old on June 1, 2010 for entry into nursery."

Nanda Mane, principal of the Nutan Marathi Vidyalay, also says that the admissions are on a first-come, first-served basis.

However, yet another anxious parent sums up the situation. "No one is under any obligation to grant admission to our kids. They should be every child has the right to go to school. Make distance of residence from school a criteria, and leave out everything else. Thanks to media pressure, schools aren't interviewing children. And even if they want to observe' the child, they do so in as unobtrusive a manner as possible. But like I said, at the end of the day, there is no guarantee that our kids will get admission."


Read the story in Times of India



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