[mpisgmedia] humpty-dumpty: CSS unbundling

There is in today?s HT the following report about an
NGO PIL seeking neighbourhood schooling system. Anyone
on this list knows this NGO?

(in our PIL of December 2003 seeking enforcement of
the statutory DMP equal access neighbourhood school
system, we face yet another adjournment since the
additional reply on our allegations of misuse of
schools sites that was ordered on 8 september has not
been filed. with endless debate on free-beds / seats,
mergers-and-closures, conversions from charitable to
commercial, reduction of standards and
enrolment-drives / mobile schools / porta-cabins /
other circuses I am also done with the facilities
(health, education) section on ncmp-dmp minder at


HT Correspondent
New Delhi, October 26

The Public Study Group, an NGO of educationists, has
sought the Delhi High Court's intervention for the
implementation of the neighbourhood schooling system.
In an affidavit submitted to the HC, its members urged
the court to put a stop to the practice of
interviewing children and parents for admissions to

The policy of neighbourhood schooling is outlined in
the National Education Policy (NEP) for the last 35
years. According to the NEP, the neighbourhood school
concept implies "that each school should be attended
by all children in the neighbourhood, irrespective of
caste, creed, community, religion, economic condition
or social status, so that there would be no
segregation in schools."

The affidavit, submitted on Saturday, states that
schools should not entertain requests from parents who
live beyond a 3-km radius. They should do so only if
the school runs short of children. Transporting
children for long distances causes immense mental and
physical fatigue and exposes them to unnecessary risk,
submitted the affidavit.

This condition to fulfill the educational requirements
of the respective localities is also there in the
allotment conditions of the DDA and L&DO.
In addition to this, the affidavit raises the question
of establishing merit by schools during admissions.
Referring to tests and interviews as "redundant", the
NGO states that even in the West, the methods of
testing children's IQ at such a young age have been

It was also pointed out that in the guise of
'interactions with parents', or even 'observing'
children, schools were drawing "erroneous inferences"
on the qualification for admission, or rejection of
the kids. The 'question of merit' relates to children
at higher stages, not at the beginning. The NGO also
stated that a child should not suffer because of the
'performance' or 'background' of his/her parents.
Also, schools should not ask non-essential questions
in the application forms. They should conduct a
transparent draw of lots for limited or reduced number
of seats.

In case some limited selection is inevitable, the
responsibility for distributing seats could be given
to the Resident Welfare Association or
groups/committees specially constituted for this
purpose, the NGO stated

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