Parents in New York who are stressed about private schools accepting their children, ought to be glad they aren’t in New Delhi. Yesterday was the deadline for schools to post their final decisions on which children would be accepted for the upcoming year. Because there has been such chaos and arbitrary practices in accepting students, a court-appointed commission set new rules in standards for accepting students. The combination of India’s exploding middle-class, and the practical collapse of the public school system, has led private schools to go overboard with absurd filtering processes such as outlandish bribes.
However, the new standard seems to be skewed as well. It is based on a 100-point system that measures things such as parent’s occupations, siblings, and distance from the school. These guidelines, parents complain, are unfair for single children families and discriminate based on characteristics that are unimportant. Not to mention that this point system is only in effect for New Delhi. Other cities around the country are still operating on an extremely corrupt system. More importantly, however, is where that leaves the poor: stuck in the public school system that is non-functioning, with no hope of paying bribes or becoming accepted to private schools on their own.
Barakat aims to provide schooling for this portion of the population. The public school system has little resources and unmotivated staff. Barakat provides schooling in the Bhadohi district in the Northern state of Uttar Pradesh, a very poor area in which parents often have to choose whether to send their children to school, or send their children to work. Barakat’s free education system provides quality learning to curve the practice of abusive child labor.
With such an uproar among parents in New Delhi, officials may have to find a new system that values the right characteristics in students. Hopefully other cities around the country can adopt fair standards as well, and offer families an alternative to the unacceptable and failing public school system.