As soon as a child is born, the apprehension of getting an admission in a school commences. The admission problems are more prevalent in metropolitan cities and commercial towns where getting admission in top schools has turned into a nightmare. The reason lies with the increase in commercialization of school level education. Parents seeking admissions in private schools have to run back and forth, seeking recommendations from influential people. Some of the leading schools are unapproachable and the only criteria for admission includes money, status and influence.
It is not only the school authorities who are to be blamed. Parents are willing to spend their lifelong savings in the name of donations to get their wards into so called ‘top schools’. They do not realize that sophistication alone will not do any better to their children than what is taught in ordinary schools. It’s more of a disadvantage to economically weaker sections of the society who want to compete with the affluent class and want to send their children to sophisticated schools just for the sake of false prestige that is attached to it.
Since schools have reserved 25% of the seats for economically weaker sections (EWS), for the remaining 75% seats, schools have adopted a ‘Point System’. Most schools have reserved 50% of their seats for ‘girl child’ or alumni of the general category. Almost 10 points are given for a first girl child, which results in a clean sweep by girls in general category. So, if the child does not fall in categories like a sibling(of an existing student at the same school), alumni, girl child, management quote etc, the chances of getting an admission become bleak.
There is little room for children who do not belong to any category. Thus, it is the flawed Point System devised by schools that comes in the way of parents trying to secure an admission.
When the results are announced by schools, there is barely anyone selected without having points in these categories. For example, all the 77 students selected in a reputed school in Vasant Kunj were selected for having points either under sibling or alumni category. Similarly, 54 of the total 56 students were selected at a school in East of Kailash under these two categories.
Dr. Supradip, a scientist who had applied in 10 schools for his son’s admission wrote on admissionsnursery.com, an online parents’ form, – “Nothing left to share except a big sorry figure. Not a single school offered my son for nursery admission. He did not get selected because he is my first child and I am not an alumnus of any school of Delhi. It’s a shame from our side that we could not provide school for our future citizens”.
In some places in Tamil Nadu, schools have introduced a system of lots to choose students for admission. But for those students who are not lucky enough, parents still have to run from pillar to post to secure an admission.
In villages where only government schools operate, the situation is better as students from those schools are equally educated as the so called ‘sophisticated schools’ in cities. The finest example is our former President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
The legislation to ensure Right to Education (RTE) seems to have no real or actual effect. It is high time for the government to intervene and check the donations hoarded by the schools. Instead of spending money in the name of donations, parents can apply for ordinary schools and can later change the school after primary classes when admissions are wholly based on interviews and written tests. The admission procedure for primary classes has to be made more transparent and the senseless Point System should be prohibited so that under no circumstances, a child is denied admission. More government schools should be established with a clean and wholesome environment.
It is the government’s duty to ensure good infrastructure including spacious classrooms. The prestige and dignity of studying in government and other ordinary private schools must be revived. Education is not profit making business that should be played with, it is a value that each and every person must have an access to.