The Delhi High Court has asked the Arvind Kejriwal-led government if it was acting as a “super guardian” to parents by limiting the choice of schools to admit their kids in nursery to the neighbourhood only.
Justice Manmohan said on Wednesday: “We have to see the effect or impact of this notification… What I find here is that no one will go beyond three kilometres.”
The court was hearing the pleas of two school bodies and some parents who challenged the education department’s recent circulars that laid down the guidelines for nursery admission for the 2017-18 session.
The notifications have made “distance” the primary criteria for tiny tots’ admissions.
The judge noted that parents, who want their kids to be sent to a particular school, might not share the same interest as that of the government which has brought in the neighbourhood criteria for private unaided schools built on public land.
The Action Committee of Unaided Recognised Private Schools and Forum for Promotion of Quality Education has challenged the Delhi Development Authority’s condition for allotting land to some private unaided schools that require them to reserve 75 per cent seats for students in the neighbourhood.
The circular has enforced the land allotment clause and thereby restricted admissions to schools on DDA land to their locality.
The parents have argued that the new rules have curtailed their rights to admit their wards to a school of their choice.
The government has said that the schools, after decades of accepting the conditions, cannot go back on the terms under which they were allotted land.