I just wrapped up the admissions for my daughter who still has to turn 3 for the pre-nursery class. The process was not a smooth one but by Grace of God, I was lucky to find a seat for my daughter. In retrospect, when I think of all that had happened in last 35 days and also when I read the plight of the parents who were unable to secure a seat for their beloved ones in the first list, I have following to share.
- Schools are not distributed appropriately in Delhi. To top this up, only a few schools enjoy a great reputation that has been built up by Media for publicity reasons.
- The population of children who seek admission are all over the city and some find themselves in areas that do not come close to any school. While those who live close by do not have live close to those so-thought of reputed schools
- The education ministry is not thinking of solving the problem in any way. They are trying out options that seem to have no thinking behind the process. It almost seems that planning is missing completely from the process
Every problem has certain symptoms. This entire process is so flawed that I can write the symptoms of the issues like an Epic. But I am going to list only a few. No aanalysis has been done to find out, how the schools are spread out across the city and find ways to increase the penetration in those areas which do not have coverage by schools. Yet, there has been emphasis on neighborhood and choice of people to place their children in schools close to their homes.
There is no way to govern the admission process. Schools on the first instance throw the RTE out of the window. Many schools do not even release the points that all the students scored and are not willing to answer any queries of any of the parents.
The process is manual. When we find universities taking a step to common admission form way back in 1990s, the school admissions still is a process that needs parents to go from school to school. It is unclear why can not they learn from the university admissions and incorporate some of the good things from there.
In a country where we have been preaching about equality, the process where we start the education of the people of the nation is jarred with discrimination and that too so many – boy/girl child; single parents; siblings; alumni. The message we are sending to the future citizens of the nation is that you need to have privileges of some kind.
The privilege part which is based on the point systems, also introduces a feeling of guilt within the parents. Some of the great aspects of the Indian culture suddenly look like evils – happily married is not preferred; boy child is on an dis-advantage and a few more.
The process is completely skewed by the fact that shelling out some additional money will give you certificates of facts that do not exist and schools do not have the workforce to validate them.
It will be simple – some will secure a seat and others will not. Those who will secure a seat will do so by either some luck or if they have some resources that others cant afford. But, the main point to note is that the process, the point system that was put in place is a total loss. If admissions are to happen on luck, lets not complicate the process. Lets simple have a draw of lottery. And now it hits me – Mr. Lovely had suggested that but it was opposed by everyone. Now I am thinking, maybe that is how it should have been – luck is what gave admissions to children even with the point system.
Is there a solution – well I do not have one right now. I do not have the resources of the information to do so. But, I hope that DoE wakes up and does something about it. I am sad to see how we start the education of the children of this nation.