Policy Matters

Tough govt., no autonomy to schools

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The Directorate of Education's advice that schools follow a standardised approach to nursery admissions has not gone down well with several umbrella bodies of private schools which believe the Supreme Court has given them enough power to frame individual admission criteria. On October 27, the Directorate of Education (DoE) had asked schools to distribute a standardised registration form, all between December 15 and 31 and to complete the submission procedure by January 7, 2009. Education Secretary Rina Ray has said schools are expected to follow the new timeline in 'good faith and fairness'.

An interim order from the Supreme Court gives autonomy to private, recognised schools to put together their own admission procedure and schedule. President S K Bhattacharya of the Action Committee – a body that represents 1,900 unaided private schools – said he will soon convene a meeting to discuss the new guidelines. Bhattacharya said, 'We shall protest if the recent order contradicts that of the apex court's. Regularisation may not always be good for healthy education.' He also said the government's claim that the guidelines have come up after consultation with schools is ambiguous. 'Many schools have already started issuing forms. How can they do it if they knew what the government was going to do?' he asked.

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