A fair deal for parents, students
School admission has been a
topic much in the news in recent times not least due to the
shenanigans of certain school authorities to rake in the
Time was when school admission was a mundane affair with
parents who failed to secure admission of their offspring to a
prestigious school reconciling themselves to the fact and
seeking the next best option.
Many factors have led to the reversal of this trend with
parents now fighting tooth and nail to get their children
admitted to the so called posh schools in the big cities.
The rapid transformation of the education set up, the rat
race to keep up with the next door neighbours, the desire to be
part of the “in thing” and above all the fierce competition have
all taken their toll on the establishment of learning as well as
with all other facets of life with the onset of liberalisation.
True, even in the past a parent boasted with unabashed
pomposity the identity of the school of his or her offspring,
but today they have to be extremely lucky to be in such company.
In short the education edifice too has got caught up in open
market ‘free for all’ where the highest bidder reaped the
The outcome is a devalued and distorted picture of education
where school authorities gave more prominence to mammon rather
than upholding the dignity of a noble endeavour. Diverse rules
and regulations were brought into play which were unheard of in
the past to qualify for school admissions not least of which are
fat donations in aid of some school project which may or may not
have been in the pipeline.
Harried parents were driven from pillar to post seeking
certificates and endorsements of Grama Sevakas and other
functionaries to meet the requirements of school authorities
with even electricity bills and water bills coming into the
equation. The introduction of an area rule forced parents into
tutoring their children to lie before the inquisitors, the first
lesson of the child in school life.
It is in this light that one should view Monday’s Supreme
Court ruling which endorsed the new guidelines on school
admissions which offer a fair chance for children of the average
citizen to enjoy the fruits of a good education.
The implementation of the new circular is to be monitored by
the Presidential Secretary in the capacity of a Competent
Authority. Hopefully, this should mark the start of a new
chapter in school education, just as free education did all
those years ago.
According to the stipulated guidelines for new admissions, 50
marks out of 100 will be earmarked for assessing the child’s
intelligence and aptitudes, 40 marks for parental consideration
and 10 marks for brother-sister category.
Special bonus marks will accrue to offspring of past pupils
and members of the Security Forces, with the occupation of
parents too coming into the equation where children of graduate
parents will be credited with 15 marks.
It would be interesting see the response of the school
authorities to the new guidelines. It is common knowledge that
certain well known schools in the cities have become fiefdoms of
their principals whose doings have often been exposed in the
Therefore, the new guidelines may not be to the liking of
some with their integrated past pupil network and managerial
boards who would prefer the status quo to remain.
It is therefore incumbent on the authorities to ensure that
the new guidelines are implemented so that parents would
henceforth not have to endure hardships to secure a school of
their preference for their children.
After all, education is a right of every child whose future
should not depend on how much his or her parents can dole out to
fatten the purses of school authorities.
With the implementation of the guidelines in the hands of the
Presidential Secretariat one hopes that close tabs would be kept
on the admission process and every child receives a fair deal.