It's that time of the year when parents queue up at reputable English-medium schools with their children for admission to pre-primary classes. Unlike the past few years, however, this time, children and parents will not go through those long, exhausting interview sessions.
Instead, taking note of a Delhi court order, many of the schools have decided to give admission only on the basis of interactive sessions with parents, where they are being 'invited' for a 'relaxed and friendly chat' to assess their wards' responses.
The schools have discontinued the system of admitting children to pre-primary classes through written tests. Over the past few years, and till last year, many institutions were giving admission by interviewing separately the children and their parents. This year, the schools have made it a point to assess a child's responses only in the presence of his or her guardian.
'We have made it a point to strictly assess the responses of every child in the presence of its parents. Schools controlled by the Church of North India (CNI) will from now eliminate students only through interactive sessions. We have eliminated term interviews from our admission procedures,' Reverend P.S.P. Raju, Bishop of Calcutta Diocese of the CNI, which controls a number of reputable schools, including La Martiniere for Boys and Girls, Pratt Memorial and St James'.
The Delhi court had recently found unacceptable the idea of interviewing children. The court had observed that schools in the capital should stop holding interviews for admission to pre-primary classes.
In Calcutta, the authorities of various well-known schools feel admission problems stem from a 'mismatch' between demand and supply of quality education. Because of this imbalance, schools feel the need for some kind of elimination.
But at the same time, considering the court observation, no guardian should be left with a feeling of having been harassed while seeking admission for his or her ward, the schools feel.
To ensure this, many schools are assessing children through an exchange of words and ideas with parents. Thereby, guardians will understand why their wards could not be given a berth.