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Home > Student First! Dialogue Series

October 2009 Dialogue

School Admission Reforms: Why, What, How?
Panel discussion on the School Admission Woes in Delhi

At the onset of the nursery admission season, a panel discussion on School Admission Reforms was organized by the School Choice Campaign (SCC) in order to address the acute problems faced by the parents and well as the grievances of the schools in order to evolve long-term solutions to existing problems in school admission process in Delhi. Representing parents and schools during the dialogue were Mr Rajan Arora, Founder, NurseryAdmissions.Com- Parents for Parents Community, India's first and biggest online community of parents dedicated to the issue of School Admissions and Mr R C Jain, President, Delhi State Public School Management Association respectively. Chairing the dialogue was Mr Baladevan R, National Campaign Director, School Choice Campaign.

There is no information available on the dates of admissions on the DOE website and the schools themselves. Parents are unclear on the markings of the group discussions and interviews conducted by the schools and there is no clarity on the refund of funds in case of cancellations,” said Mr Arora.

Prior to the discussion the School Choice Campaign and www.nurseryadmissions.com (with over 15,000 members) formulated the Parent’s Charter through online voting on the basis of the common concerns in the admissions process with parental consensus. The objective of this Charter is to ensure greater transparency, accountability and standardization in the admission process. On behalf of the parents, Mr Rajan Arora presented the Charter to Mr RC Jain who agreed that his schools would abide by the following points of the parents Charter:

  1. Transparency of Results: The schools must display the exact break-up points for each child when they release the admissions list and on the school website/ Directorate of Education website.
  2. Transparency of Criteria: The break-up of points must be based on ‘definitive’ criteria avoiding vagueness like – group discussions, national level achievements of parents etc.
  3. Fee Refund and Deduction: In case a child is not admitted to the school or the admission is cancelled, the portion of the fee retained by the school must be made clear in advance and should be in accordance with government guidelines.
  4. Time-bound Fee Refund: The refund of the fee deposited where applicable must happen within 3 working days of filing applications for refund.

However Mr Jain did not comply with one of the points of the Charter-Common Admission Schedule on the grounds that it would not be conducive for parents as they would miss an opportunity to approach another schools in case their child did not get admission in their preferred school of choice. However, School Choice Campaign believes common admission schedule would not only benefit parents in not having to deposit huge sums of money in multiple schools (the problem is compounded by schools not refunding the entire amount) but would also save them the extra time of having to run after the schools for months. This problem is mainly due to new and not reputed schools opening the admissions months ahead of the reputed ones.

The root cause of this problem is the huge supply demand gap in education today. We have only 1900 schools in Delhi to cater to some lakhs of student. This is partly due to the long processes of getting one’s school recognized and the education sector still pressurized to be not for profit making. How can you expect us to run institutions this way,” said Mr R C Jain

The forum also saw the formal launch of Action for School Admission Reforms (ASAR) 2009, a helpdesk for parents to lodge complaints, even anonymously, against unscrupulous schools. ASAR was initiated in 2008 and is a joint project of SCC and www.nurseryadmissions.com.

For further details visit http://schoolchoice.in/nurseryadmission/

Mr Manu Sundaram welcomes the panel and the participants

(L-R): Mr Rajan Arora, Mr Baladevan R, Mr R C Jain

(L-R): Mr Rajan Arora, Mr Baladevan R, Mr R C Jain

Mr R C Jain responding to the points in the parents charter



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