Quota harmful for school education development: Delhi government

New Delhi, Jan 25 (IANS) The AAP government on Monday defended in the Delhi High Court its decision to scrap management quota in nursery admissions, saying the practice was “deleterious” for school education’s development in Delhi and hence “must be stopped”.

In an affidavit filed in response to the petitions challenging its decision to scrap management and other quotas in nursery admissions in private schools, the government said the management quota was “wholly non-transparent and susceptible to misuse”.

Hearing the pleas of private schools on January 18, Justice Manmohan asked the Delhi government to file its response.

The Action Committee of Unaided Recognised Private Schools and Forum for Promotion of Quality Education sought to quash the January 6 circular that scrapped 62 criteria, including management quota, for nursery admissions.

The petitioners said the circular was “absolutely without jurisdiction” and should be quashed as it completely took away the autonomy of schools.

In its affidavit, the government however said: “Management quota are no more than a mechanism through which certain institutions have been or are looking to obtain funds as a quid pro quo for grant of admissions. Such practice is clearly deleterious for the development of school education in Delhi and consequently must be stopped.”

“Management quota was an unreasonable and exploitative practice and results in creating an uneven playing field for the parents and children seeking admission to schools and discriminating amongst them on the basis of economic capacity or social status,” it added.

The government affidavit said that educational institutes cannot admit students as per their whims and fancies under the grab of management quota. “It cannot allow the private schools to have a wholly opaque and non-transparent quota.”

The court will now hear the case on January 28.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on January 6 said the decision to scrap the management quota was taken to bring in more transparency in the admission process. He said the existing provision of 25 percent seats for students from poor families will however remain in place.

Schools were however free to grant admission to children of their employees and could allocate points in their criteria.

Currently, the schools keep 20 percent or even more seats under the management quota, while 25 percent seats are reserved for economically weaker sections students. The remaining are open for the general category children.

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