The Telegraph
Wednesday , January 16 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Enrol lists by Jan. 19, parents of tots jittery

- Saras lottery in majority of 45 cradles

Itís nervous times for parents, as they wait with bated breath before as many as 45 English medium private schools in the city reveal their admissions lists for entry-level classes this Saturday.

Most private schools have followed a random selection procedure through Saras 2.0, essentially a lottery software that was introduced last year but remains a sore point for parents.

The schools will display admission lists for general category candidates from 8am to 4pm. Parents are welcome with the different timings, as they will be able to make last-minute plans if required.

ďLast year, I tried to enrol my son in nursery but he could not make it. This time, I am looking for lower kindergarten. Letís see if luck favours him. It is very dicey. In case luck doesnít favour, we donít know what to do,Ē said Snehashis Mandal, a bank employee.

Last year, many parents were left disappointed, as their wards did not figure on the lists despite filling forms for half a dozen schools.

They fear the same situation this year, too, as most prefer to be interviewed to ensure the best shot at selection of their wards.

However, the random selection mandated by Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 ó in its second year of implementation ó is only likely to result in satisfying those who succeed.

Meanwhile, the criterion of 25 per cent seats for students from economically weaker sections has not yet been fulfilled in many schools due to poor response.

ďWe have a total of 135 seats, of which 32 are for the reserved category. However, we have to see how many forms have been returned, as we also have to follow the feeder area criteria. Generally, applications from the poorer section are very few,Ē said Father David Vincent, principal of St Maryís English High School.

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