The nursery guidelines are out. These aren't different from last year's, but the parents are still confused. The directions and schedule announced on 19th December, 2016 aren't applicable to all schools, including some of the most popular ones in the city. Directorate of Education's (DoE) guideline on the subject suggests that children from the neighbourhood of such schools stand a better chance.
In Delhi, the 1,700-odd private schools could be divided into three broad categories. The vast majority is on private land; about 400 are on land leased from various government agencies like Delhi Development Authority. Of these, 285 have in their lease deeds land allotment conditions that either require them to admit 75% of the students of the neighbourhood or from the locality in which the school is located or forbid them from refusing admission to the resident of the locality.
Thus far, these are on the schools' lease deeds and, although the government guidelines mention them, they're yet to be translated into admission guidelines. Monday's guidelines cover all private schools except these 285. But, complicating matters, these 285 include some of the most sought-after ones in Delhi—branches of Delhi Public School, Bal Bharti, DAV, Ahlcon, etc.
Parents are also concerned about the possibility of differing schedules and clashing dates.
Schools on private land or without admission-related lease conditions are pleased that the process and guidelines remain the same as last year's; the 285, not so much. One association has already sought a meeting with the director, education, to seek clarification and make some suggestions. "This is a very serious problem—you have the same government but different rules. Plus, they're distinguishing even between schools on government land - those who have an admission stipulation and those who don't. It's absolutely unjust. It's a policy of divide and rule," said an administrator.
Ashok Pandey, principal of a prominent school in Delhi, doesn't expect the schedule to be different for the 285, but is "anxious and curious" to see what the government suggests. The issue of criteria for these schools is in court in any case.
"There shouldn't be much confusion over criteria, but there can be on the dates. Earlier, each school in Delhi followed a different set of parameters," said lawyer-activist Khagesh Jha. "What is happening now is that parents who think the guidelines are out are discovering that the schools they're interested in aren't covered," he added.