The Delhi government under Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has asked private schools in the capital to scrap “arbitrary” criteria for nursery admissions. This move is aimed at a realising more egalitarian admissions process and school environment for young children.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the announcement:
1. 62 “arbitrary criteria” have been scrapped.
These include things like whether or nor the child’s parents smoke or consume alcohol and their eating habits. The Delhi government said that a “child cannot be punished for any particular habit of the parents so this (criterion) is unjust.” Some schools prefer giving admissions to children whose parents have a talent in a particular skill , such as painting or singing. Under “arbitrary criteria” is also included a preference for children whose parents or siblings are alumni of the school.
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2. The management quota has been scrapped.
“What is management quota? Under it, you get admission if someone is recommended by a chief minister, education minister, judge, police commissioner, SHOs or by an income tax official. Either it is a recommendation or seats are sold. Management quota is the biggest scandal in the country which the Delhi Government is scrapping.” – Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal
3. The EWS quota will stay in place
EWS refers to Economically Weaker Sections and includes families that earn up to Rs. 1 lakh a year. 25 percent of the seats in private schools will remain reserved for EWS-category students under this rule.
4. Schools can no longer interview for admissions.
Following this new measure, private unaided schools will no longer be able to conduct general knowledge interviews or oral tests of either parents or children. Considering that children who join nursery are usually around 3 years of age, this is a welcome move in the right direction.
5. This measure will apply to private unaided schools.
When asked how the government would ensure compliance, the chief minister said, “The government can do anything; schools can be de-recognised or the government can take over such schools.”