Parents check the merit list at Loyola School in Jamshedpur on Saturday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Jamshedpur, Jan. 19: Over 60 city schools put out computer-generated merit lists for admission of students to entry level (nursery and kindergarten) classes today, ending sleepless nights of hundreds of parents but not the discontent over the lottery system adopted.
The admission lists prepared for the second year in succession with the help of the Saras software-assisted lottery — based on the East Singhbhum district administration’s directive in accordance the Right to Education (RTE) Act — left many parents and principals unhappy for giving precedence to “luck” over merit.
“Merit has taken a backseat, as the current lottery system has turned the admission process into a matter of luck. It is another matter that I am happy as my son name figures on the list,” admitted Roshan Bhengra (44), a resident of Kitadih and a Tata Steel employee whose son found a place on the admission list put out by Loyola School.
The luck factor compelled parents to fill admission forms for as many schools as possible to maximise their children’s chances of earning a seat.
Vivek Gupta, a Mango-based shopkeeper, was left ruing his daughter’s luck.
“I had taken admission forms of nine schools but my daughter’s name did not figure on any of the lists. It is sheer bad luck, as my daughter has done very well in a preparatory school at Mango and is good with colours, numbers, alphabets, and can speak smartly, too. She had a fair chance of succeeding in a written or oral test. Now, I do not what to do. Maybe she will have to continue with preparatory school for another year,” said the 40-year-old standing outside Sacred Heart Convent School.
Loyola School principal Father Victor Misquith echoed his feelings.
“The process of selection is flawed. One should at least hold a test at the entry level to identify meritorious students. At the moment there is lot of disparity among children in terms of their potential in entry-level classes. We have one child who has an understanding of basics and is a smart learner, while another does not even know about alphabets. At the end of the day, students are the worst sufferers in this system,” he said.
More than 35 ICSE and 25 CBSE-affiliated schools revealed their admission lists for close to 3,000 seats today. Over 40,000 parents had purchased forms from the schools.
Bistupur-based DAV Public School was the only institute that did not use the Saras software but instead conducted a manual lottery system.
The administration will be directing the schools to submit details of their merit lists, along with reserved seats.