At a time when the state government as well as the Right to Education Act has banned schools from conducting any kind of screening procedures during admissions, schools continue to hold interviews under different guises. To catch such schools red handed, the education department will conduct surprise checks in schools during admission time, says school education minister Rajendra Darda.
Several parents say that they have faced screening procedures in schools despite such procedures being banned. Preetha Roy, a parent from Goregaon seeking admission in class 1 for her 6-year-old daughter, said, “I have applied to at least five schools in the neighbourhood, and in all of these schools, we were called for ‘interactions’ with the management, where we were interviewed by the school authorities.”
Parents say schools are trying to find loopholes in the law by not holding interviews directly. “Schools will not call parents for an interview, but test the child’s abilities and the parents’ background through other methods. Getting savvy, schools are calling parents for ‘interactions’ instead of interviews under the pretext of ‘familiarising themselves with parent and child.’ Parents should become aware and should report such cases,” said Jayant Jain, president of the Forum For Fairness in Education.
Speaking to DNA, Darda said that they will probably send undercover squads to check on schools conducting any kind of screening process.
He said, “The department has been receiving a lot of complaints from parents that many schools, especially ICSE, CBSE and international schools, continue to hold interviews of children before admitting them.”