NEW DELHI: Education has value. Now it has a price, and a steep one at that. Nursery admission for the new academic year in Delhi is giving parents sleepless nights. For, it’s that time of the year when they battle it out to grab the limited number of seats available through the point-based admission system that varies from school to school. Compounding the fear are reports of a steep hike in admission and tuition fees as the enrolment coincides with the 7th Pay Commission’s implementation. The much-promised education bills passed this December by the government seems to falter at what it promised to deliver.
Ajay Anand, a central government employee, had to get his son admitted at a school in his aunt’s place in Kanpur. Unable to meet the “unjustified” demands and the fee structure of the schools here, he bid adieu to his dreams of starting the education of his son at a premiere institute in the national capital. “I have three children and cannot afford the demands of the school,” said Anand. However, the determined father hopes to bring back his son once he is in standard I.
Praveen Upadhyay from Gorakhpur in the neighbouring Uttar Pradesh has put his investment plans on hold for a year as the 1,700-odd schools in the city are set to announce their admission-based points system soon along with the fee. Upadhyay and family had moved to Delhi last year with the hopes of settling down in their new flat in the NCR region. “But after listening to the experience of my friends and relatives, I have decided to complete my kid’s nursery admission before investing in property,” he said.
Activists working for the rights of parents have trashed a recent legislation on fee regulation passed by the AAP government, saying it gives a free hand to the schools on matters of fee instead of regulating them. “My fear is that parents would have to cough up 25 per cent more of what was charged for nursery admission in the last session,” said lawyer Ashok Agarwal and national president of All India Parents Association.