The Great Delhi Circus for Nursery Admissions in Schools is Almost Here

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao
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Ah! It’s that time of the year again, when Delhi moms and dads will line up on the streets for the sake of their child’s nursery admissions. How far can you go to ensure the best education for your child? Can you line up on streets and fight bone chilling cold and rabid dogs? Can you give up your Mercedes S-class sized ego and beg? We have it so easy, parents of children who are not born and brought up in the metro monstro-city called Delhi.


Ask any Delhi parent with a fussy toddler in his or her lap about nursery admissions, and you will not know whom to console. We have all seen the snarling lines in front of schools on news channels. We have heard of “jugaad” and hefty donations as well.

But why does not any one talk about who is actually accountable for this madness which surrounds nursery admissions every year in the capital city?

School campuses become gladiator arenas and children's admissions become a status symbol. But can we put the entire blame on the schools and their management alone? Are Delhiites scratch-free in this hurl of allegations? No. Also, how far parents and kids in other metro cities face a similar fate?

Year after year, we refuse to acknowledge the increasing population density in our metros. We cannot blame labourers and migrants for it entirely. With increasing paying capacity and limited number of seats in all “good” schools (obviously English medium), the issue of schooling has gone beyond the need to provide a better future to our children. It’s a matter of convenience. A matter of ego. Foremost, it is a matter of standards for us.

We all laughed when we saw Irrfan Khan’s antiques for his daughter’s admission in the film Hindi Medium this year. The truth is that the bias goes beyond language.

The flashy Delhi mob not only loves to flaunt its imitation Hermes bags and Ray Ban sunglasses, it loves to flaunt its kids as well


So a nursery admission in a reputed school is a status symbol. Beyond that, the amount of donation paid is also a status symbol. The more the better.

In doing so, parents make the schools greedier, and hence corrupt. Prominent schools’ have connections and pockets rooted deeply in Delhi’s socio-political circle. Governments and laws change around them, but no one can lay a finger on them.

Strict regulations and discouragement by parents are the only way nursery admissions in Delhi can be saved from turning into a circus every year. Instead of encouraging reputed schools to take astounding amounts of fees and donations, why can’t parents encourage ordinary schools to raise their standards?

If you can make peace by giving private horse riding or French lessons to your child, it would not hurt to send your child to a school, where he or she will get decent education

Parents always think that a great school ensures command on language and a great future for kids. But how much education can schools cram in eight hours daily? If you want your child to be fluent in English, then you have to make efforts at home. If you want them to be creative, then encourage their creativity at home. Don’t just pay the school fees and wash your hands of your kids. A child’s learning is more affected by the environment he or she gets at home, rather than what he or she gets in school.

By putting the burden of expectations on the shoulders of a three-and-half-year old, parents are certainly making both school and home hostile places for the young ones.


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Dr Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are author’s own.


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