May 18, 2017

HINDI MEDIUM, a movie that takes a dig at education system - Nursery Admissions Delhi-NCR

The film shows the plight of parents struggling to get a nursery seat for their child.



If you are a parent living in Delhi who has fought a battle of nursery admission or is a parent who would do that in near future, the film Hindi Medium is your story. Having covered the nursery admissions in the last one decade as a journalist and now a parent myself, I can say that getting a nursery seat is a herculean task in Delhi. The film shows the real-life experiences of parents and the problems thousands of them face every year, with a dash of humour.

Illustration: Ashish Asthana

The film, starring Irrfan Khan and Pakistani actress Saba Qamar, shows the plight of parents who aspire to send their daughter to an English medium school. Probably the first film made to highlight the flaws of education system, it points out at the need to reform the education system. It shows that education, which is supposed to be a not-for-profit activity and right of every child, has emerged as a big business opportunity. 

While the film will release on May 19, a screening was organized on May 13 for deputy chief minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia, who handles the education portfolio, and the department of education. 

The government-run schools across India are in bad shape. Shortage of classrooms, insufficient teachers and low learning levels are some of the problems they have faced over the years. They have been left to decay for a long time. It is because of the poor standards of such schools that parents have shifted to private schools. 

More children and less number of good quality private schools; the nursery admission blues has become an annual problem since the private schools got autonomy. And it has become challenging for parents to score a seat for their child in the city.

The film is about a couple who dream to give the best education to their daughter and the problems they face. Irrfan Khan portrays the role of a father with a daunting task in hand. A businessman from Chandni Chowk in central Delhi, he wants his daughter to get admission in areputed school in Delhi. He is ready to do anything. From changing house and moving to a posh neighbourhood in south Delhi to come within the 3 km radius of the school, to bribing the school principal and asking an MLA for help, he leaves no stone unturned. The couple also hire a consultant for this. But still do not manage to get admission. Meanwhile, his worker’s son gets admission in a reputed school under the quota reserved for economically weaker section (EWS). When all other means fail, he decides to take the EWS route. 

The film highlights the pressure build up on children to speak in English and how education is creating a divide within the society. It also points out at the increasing ambition of parents from EWS to send their children in English medium schools. The RTE Act mandates reserving 25 percent seats for such children, but corruption and scams act as roadblocks. Manish Sisodia said that the film has shown the reality and that is why the government of Delhi is working hard to solve the problem. He said there is a need to focus on the quality of government school education and the government must develop a strong alternative to private schools. “Improving the system is a complex issue, but the work has already been started.” He added that the stigma attached to the government school will take time to go. “Private schools have become really powerful. They do whatever they wish to. And whenever we pass any regulation, they pressurize and corrupt the system. I don’t think by bringing more strict rules and regulation we can really solve this problem. The solution lies in fixing the problem with government schools. We are working to bring the government schools at par with the private schools by improving their quality. If people are confident about government schools, then only this problem can be solved.” Sisodia said that government schools have been left to decay for around 25 years and thus, cannot be improved overnight. “For the last two years we have been improving the quality of government schools. The confidence of people is increasing now. And it will take some time to change the perception of government schools.” The education minister also said that the government is working to bring strict rules and regulations to ensure there is enough transparency in the system. “There are laws which favor private schools. 

 Atishi Marlena, advisor to Manish Sisodia, also attended the screening. She said that the film is excellent portrayal of the education crisis in Delhi. “We know the problem when it comes to nursery admission. We know many scams happen in the EWS admission in the private schools. There is a demand and supply problem. There are very few high quality schools. And I think eventually the answer is to improve government schools.” Marlena also said that the government is working to make the process of nursery admission in private schools more transparent, and also improving the quality of government schools is the way ahead.

Source : www.governancenow.com

May 4, 2017

Delhi govt raises upper age limit for EWS nursery admissions - Nursery Admission Delhi



The Delhi government raised the upper age limit for admission to entry-level classes under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) and Disadvantaged Group (DG) category, by an year.

The Delhi government on Wednesday raised the upper age limit for admission to entry-level classes under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) and Disadvantaged Group (DG) category, by an year.

The government had in 2015 fixed upper age limit for admissions to pre-school (nursery), pre-primary (KG) and class I as 4 years, 5 years and 6 years, respectively.

However, now the Directorate of Education (DoE) has raised it to 5 years, 6 years and 7 years, respectively and directed the schools to apply the new age limit for the admissions to 2017-18 academic session as well.

"The age for granting admission to the students at entry level classes for the academic year 2017- 18 under EWS/DG category already selected through draw of lots is raised up to one year," a communication sent to schools by DoE read.

"All the private schools are hereby directed to comply with the order accordingly and grant the admission to all such student selected under EWS/DG through computerised draw of lots in the school allotted to them by May 15," it added.

As the Delhi High Court had in 2016 ordered a stay on the earlier age limit, the government had not announced any upper age limit for the admissions under the two categories for this academic session.

"Since no upper age was fixed for the admission in entry level classes under the two categories, the children older than the minimum age for admission were also selected among these 31,269 children," the DoE communication said.

Delhi High Court had last week ordered the government to raise the upper age limit as an interim measure and proceed with the admissions.

A total of 1,13,991 students applied for the admission in the entry-level classes and 31,269 students got selected through computerised lots of draw.
source: zeenews.india.com

March 28, 2017

400+ seats vacant but locked due to indecisive Delhi Govt!?


HT Delhi : Around 400 nursery seats will remain vacant this year as the Delhi government has decided NOT to hold a second round of lottery for admission in the economically weaker section/disadvantaged (EWS/DG) category for private schools.

In a circular issued by the Directorate of Education (DOE), the government said that 384 seats have remained vacant as there were no applications in these school or the applicants were allotted a school of higher preference.

This year, the DOE had received 1,13,991 online applications for the 31,653 EWS/DG category seats. Through the computerized draw of lots, a total of 31,269 candidates were allotted schools as per their preferences.

In an affidavit filed by the government at the Delhi High Court, the government has stated that out of the 28,135 seats in 1,159 schools more than 19,000 seats have been filled.

(source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi/nursery-admissions-400-ews-seats-vacant-in-private-schools-but-no-second-draw-of-lots/story-VU1MfPmQ3CL3952AVGwNeP.html)

March 21, 2017