Monday, October 22, 2001, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Parents find themselves on a merry-go-round
Girja Shankar Kaura
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 21
Come October and it’s time for parents to feel the jitters about the future of their wards. For, it is admission time.

Admission to a school of repute and sound academic record takes away the worry for the coming, at least, 12 years when it is time again to start running for a seat in a reputed college.

Despite the courts making efforts to reduce the tension and exploitation faced by parents and even simplifying the admission process, it remains probably the most testing time for them still. From standing in queues to collect registration forms to waiting for their child’s turn at the interview or interaction, as some schools choose to name it these days, to the actual admission, the parents undergo many s sleepless night.

In a city like Delhi where schools with good academic records are less and the number of children seeking admissions to nursery and higher classes more, parents leave no stone unturned, including using political pressure, to secure a place for their ward.

The process actually starts with diligently reading the largest circulated newspapers in the city. An advertisement either on the third or the fifth page, and now even in pullouts, would announce the start of the admission process with the collection of forms. Then comes the process for submitting them before the final date for submission of forms.

This too is not without complication. Some schools not only demand birth certificates, duly attested, but also the proof of residence. Then comes the all-important ‘interaction’ time, which could be over in one session or more than that as the school starts to look for the “right kind of people” who fit their profile. Here, form one’s qualifications as a professional to one’s ability to cough up a few thousand, anything could come in handy.

Admission secure! But the tedious exercise is not over. A good amount is handed over as registration and admission charges.

However, at this stage too, there is confusion galore. For, all schools do not come out with the final list of admission at the same time. Since securing admission before the time is over is the prime motive of the parents, many of them end up paying hefty sums not at one, but two or three schools to ensure the best for their child.

The exercise continues year after year with no relief to the parents. Though the government had taken up the issue once, it had not been able to stem the rot. The schools devise innovative methods to rake in money through admissions.

There are no clear estimates as to how much does one school generate as funds during admissions.

Selling registration forms which cost around Rs 100-300 and extracting admission fees, which vary anywhere from Rs 15,000 to Rs 30,000, one can be sure that each school makes a whole lot of money from the `business’.

If one counts the donations which are mercifully left to the parents’ discretion (no parent would dare to deny the sum), the volume of the ‘business’ becomes huge.

Will this time be different? Or is it going to be another tedious, nerve-wracking and expensive process is the question on the parents’ mind.


Green cats and white horses freak out at special school
Smriti Kak

There were hundreds of children dressed in their vibrant best. There were green cats and white horses accompanied by clocks and clowns, all brimming with enthusiasm.

The occasion was an inter-school dance drama competition organised for children from special schools. The participants were mentally challenged, slow learners, visually impaired and others with hearing impairment and multiple disability. They performed with remarkable elan. There were no jittery actors and no forgotten lines.

The event was organised last week by Very Special Arts India, an institute working for the disabled. Renowned Bharatanatyam exponent Yammuna Krishnan was the chief guest at the function. She later enthralled her special audience with a splendid performance. Using dance mudras she recited a poem about a small boy and his parrot Mithu.

In the multiple disability section Sanskriti School and Shri Ram School shared the first prize in the junior category .

In the slow learners’ category St. Thomas School for Girls won the first prize. In the visually handicapped category the first prize for the junior section went to National Association for the Blind. Pavan School and Deepalaya won the second prize in the hearing impaired category. Aanchal School won the second prize in the mentally challenged category.

Blood camp for soldiers

A blood donation camp was held at Guru Teg Bahadur Institute of Technology, Tilak Nagar, recently. The institute affiliated to Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University motivates its students to take in activities which carry a social message.

The camp was organised by Lions Club. The Armed forces transfusion centre will use the blood received during the donation camp. At least 125 students and 30 staff members donated blood.

School with a forest & a farm

It’s an effort to provide a rich amalgamation of international education with solid Indian values, expounds the management of Starex International school.

The brainchild of Mr Sardar Mohinder Singh, an NRI philanthropist and visionary, the school, spread over 100 acres, has boarding facilities to accommodate more than 100 students and teachers.

It also houses a spirit of learning and teaching the world’s latest and most advanced knowledge streams.

Under the auspices of renowned educationist K.J. Vari, former Principal of Modern School, Vasant Vihar, Starex will begin its session in April 2002. The school houses state-of-the-art IT infrastructure, a mini forest, an aviary and an experimental farm.

Laurels for Amity students

Amity Law School won the top awards in all categories of the All-Delhi Moot Court Competition held at GCS Indraprastha University. The competition, which was held recently, had participants from Delhi University Law Faculty, Jamia Milia Univrersity, Vivekanand Institute of Professional studies and the National College of Law, Gurgaon.

The competition was presided over by Mr Justice M. Bhandari and Mrs Justice Usha Mehra of the Delhi High Court.

Good news for infants

Here is some good news for pre-schoolers. Egmont Imagination is launching a pre-school in East Delhi's Laxmi Nagar. The school will have a structured curriculum, making it the only school to have a curriculum for pre-nursery.

The pivotal objective of the school is to stimulate the imagination of the child by providing opportunities for the child to grow and develop while reading, listening and playing. An activity club called Eurosmart will include fun and frolic activities like theatre, games and art for children between four and eight years of age.

Scouts & guides

The Heads of World Scout Committee, Asia Pacific Regional Scout Committee, Bharat Scouts and Guides and Indian Scouts and Guides Fellowships met under one roof for a brainstorming session with Delhi's Education Minister Narendra Nath.

The high powered-meeting of these national and international heads of scouts and guides organisations was held to discuss the modules of spreading the movement across the country.

The visiting delegates from countries like Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand and Korea discussed various merits of the scouts and guides movement.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Narendra Nath said, “The scouts and guides movement came to India within two years of its inception in London”.

Its rapid growth and popularity could be attributed to the fact that the concept of universal brotherhood was so central. The scouts & guides movement is gaining in popularity all over the world. This was in evidence at the recent meet.


Confusion galore on CNG

The government has added more confusion to the already confused citizens over the issue of CNG. The public in general and transporters in particular are utterly confused as to whether they should go in for CNG or LPG. Those who have already invested Rs 17 lakh on a single CNG bus or converted their bus into CNG mode after spending at least Rs 4 lakh are plagued by the thought whether they will be able to repay their loans and pay their investments back in time.

Keeping in view the hike in transport charges parents, students and teachers are finding themselves sandwiched between the government policies and the increasing hike. Why should the public suffer because of the poor policies of the government?

The conversion of CNG vehicles could be undertaken in phases with alternatives available. Priority and time should be given to owners of DT C buses in particular.

The government should have thought of the financial, physical and mental torture which parents of students and also the schools have had to undergo. Bus owners and drivers wait for hours outside CNG filling stations without proper food and sleep. These drivers are made to stand in queues for hours. How can they drive their vehicles safely on the busy Indian roads? Won't this lead to fatal accidents?

S.S. Minhas, Principal,
Guru Harkrishan Public School,
Vasant Vihar, New Delhi.

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