Mixed response to quota in nursery admissions

As Delhi's schools on Friday continued announcing their final lists for nursery admissions, many poor parents in Delhi expressed relief over the 25 percent reservation of seats for their children, while others expressed doubts. The Right to Education (RTE) Act implemented last year has increased the reservation for children from the economically weaker section (EWS) of the society from 15 percent to 25 percent. Under the reservation system, the expenses for the children's elementary education in private schools will be reimbursed by the government. “To some extent, the 25 percent reservation has helped us because the same private schools never bothered to look at us, forget about giving admission to our child,” said Deba Mishra, an auto-rickshaw driver in north Delhi. “For the first time, someone in our family will be going to an English-medium school,” added Mishra, whose four-year-old daughter got admission in Goodley Public School in north Delhi's Shalimar Bagh. For some parents, however, the procedure turned out to be a battle as they could not secure a seat for their children even after the reservation. “Even if the schools are using lottery system for the EWS quota, there should be some transparency in the number of seats. Parents applying through point system know why their child could not make it, but we don't,” complained an angry Ramesh Tyagi, as he waits for the second list of admissions in west Delhi schools. While schools applied the lottery or draw system for the EWS, a point system was applied for the general category after the directorate of education (DoE) guidelines. Under the points system, students were selected on the basis of points scored by them and their parents. Parameters decided by the school included proximity of their home to the school, siblings studying in the institution, single parent and girl child, among others. “We did not know the exact details of the procedure used in the lottery system,” complained Tyagi. While parents gave mixed reactions to the RTE provision, schools observed a spurt in the number of applications that came for admission this year. “We have to wait for the final figure. But we have already seen a considerable increase in the number of forms submitted,” Vandana Puri, principal of Salwan Public School in central Delhi's Rajinder Nagar, told the sources. The school has already received 650 applications, as compared to 250 last year, said Puri.