Parents rely on luck for school seats

For Rahul Singh, admitting his three-and-a-half-year-old daughter to a reputable school is like winning a lottery.

"This is for the first time that I am queuing up at schools to get registration forms for my daughter, who has to be admitted to Kindergarten. I had no idea that it would be such a hassle just to collect a form. If my daughter makes it through, it will be like winning a lottery. I think for every seat there are at least 200-250 candidates," he said.

Rahul is not the only one. Most parents are having a harrowing time trying to get their wards admitted to institutes because of several problems ' ranging from age criteria to few form counters and the lottery system of admission.

Another parent echoed the same opinion shared by Rahul. "This is a new experience. I have to get my daughter admitted to good school, which would not only provide quality best education but also inculcate discipline. However, this seems to be an endless wait. Around 200-250 candidates are vying for a single seat. It is a worrying situation," he said.

"I bought forms from Carmel High School and Notre Dame Academy. I know my daughter does not fulfil the age criteria at one of the two. There are many parents who have applied to both schools. It has become easy to get fake certificates. Parents who want to instil values in their children are themselves compromising with it," he added.

Sources said several schools are requesting parents and guardians to opt for more than one institute.

A parent waiting in a queue behind almost 100 people at Carmel High School said guardians had started arriving from 1.30 at night to collect forms. He added that the number of counters should have been increased. There were just three. In comparison, Notre Dame Academy had more counters, he added. If the number of counters were not enough, some parents were offended with the caste column in the form. Amit Kumar, a parent said: "Sections on social background should not be included in the form." Guardians were also miffed owing to absence of an online registration system. Amita Singh, who was waiting for her turn at a city school, said: "Schools should upgrade to the online system of registration to save parents' time."

Few schools like Loyola High School and Don Bosco have online registration.

Asha Singh, who wants to admit her son to St Michael's High School, was apprehensive about the lottery system to be conducted by the institute. She said: "The lottery system would mean relying on luck."

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