More than 800 nursery seats in govt schools lying vacant

Even a week before the new academic session starts, government schools in the city have failed to find enough takers for nursery seats. Of the total 2,070 seats in nursery classes in 46 government schools, nearly 1,200 have been filled so far.

While officials refuse to provide the exact number of forms submitted in different schools, sources say unlike in the last few years, the number of takers for seats even in popular schools has been low this year. These schools include Government Model Senior Secondary School Sector 16, 35, 37, 10 and Manimajra.

With the number of applicants being lesser than the seats available, the education department will not be able to conduct the draw of lots for admissions.

While the officials say they are trying to determine the causes for the shortage in the number of applicants, sources say the key reasons include the prescribed area limit for admission to specific schools and poor maintenance of schools.

"We are trying to find the reasons for the shortage in the number of applicants. We have asked the schools to send the updated status of admissions," said DPI (schools) Sandeep Hans.

During the distribution of forms in January this year, a number of parents seeking admission forms in prominent government schools were turned away due to the concept of neighbourhood schools being taken up from this year.

The concept of neighbourhood schools prescribes that every child should find his or her school at a walking distance from his or her residence. For different age groups the distance varies.

As per the department's guidelines, for nursery class students, the prescribed radius was 1 km initially. Later, it was extended to 3 km.

Besides, the teaching methods and tools used in government schools are also inadequate. For the nursery students, there are no worksheets for written exercises, no practical assignments, lack of regular orientation sessions with parents and dirth in innovative ideas for teaching.

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