Tiny tots get ready for interviews
It is violation of child rights, kills merit: Experts
Srinagar, Sep 4: The holding of interviews of kids for admission by the prestigious educational institutions of the Valley has drawn flak from different quarters.
With the beginning of the admission process in month of September the private educational institutions start conducting interviews of children and their parents for child’s entry into the nursery, kindergarten, and primary classes.
A group of parents told Greater Kashmir that they had to face embarrassing question from the school authorities for getting admission of their ward like: What is your monthly income? Can you fulfill our all requirements?
Educationists and experts were of the view that conducting tests is against the norms as it deprives the large chunk of children from receiving the quality education.
Prominent educationist Prof A G Madhosh said that this practice at the nursery level is against the democratic norms.
“The children cannot be put to the tests or interviews at the entry level as you never know who will bloom at what time. We have seen many students, who are not good in the studies at the beginning excelling in later stages,” he said.
Madhosh said this “selective and prejudicial” method deprives large number of the students from receiving the quality education.
But, he added that deficiencies in the public system of education need to be sorted out to attract children towards it.
“Parents send their children to private schools as they are not satisfied with the education provided in government schools and the need of hour is to see what deficiencies are in this system,” he added.
Echoing the same views, Zeeshan Pandit, Managing Director Little Wonders center for Early Childhood Education said, pre-admission interviews have negative impact on the children.
“Subjecting children to the interviews or tests as well as the preparation methods used on children by preschools and parents for these interviews have harmful effects on kids growth,” he said.
Zeeshan added that lack of transparency in these interviews also breeds corruption. “Since the criteria of admission and passing are not clear, a school can declare any student admitted or not admitted,” he added.
While experts are against this practice, the medicos opine that it can develop psychological complications among the children.
Noted psychiatrist and assistant professor at Government Medical College Dr Arshad Hussain said pre-admission interviews put a lot of psychological burden on tender souls. “This has a serious impact on them particularly if they take it as failure. Once they are not selected which usually happens as parents starts blaming kids and this lowers their self esteem and can have serious psychological consequences,” he opined.
According to the legal experts, Jammu and Kashmir doesn’t have laws to prohibit the practice.
“We have don’t have legislation like Right to Education which bans interviews of children for admission and imposes fine on schools/individuals indulging in this practice. The Jammu and Kashmir School Education Act 2002 does not contain any clause pertaining to it,” they said.
Pertinently, National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) states that, “No quantitative assessment or use of standardized test is recommended. In fact, it is prohibited. Children should not be tested or subjected to oral interviews in order to pass or move to higher settings of learning in the early years”.
While on one hand, this practice of private educational institutions is an open secret but on other the state government has turned a blind eye towards this problem as no action has been taken against any school indulging in it till date.
“The bureaucrats and ministers are hardly bothered about this problem as their own children are studying in these institutes. And in these schools, they not only get backdoor entry for their children, but also recommend admission of their kith and kin,” said a parent Nazir Ahmad.
When contacted, director School Education Shagufta Praveen said this practice is against the norms as it affects the psyche of children.
However, she said, no educational institute conducts the interview, but only interaction is held with parents and their wards by the private schools.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 4 Sep 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 4 Sep 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 5 Sep 2011 00:00:00 IST
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