Our Experience with UKG School admission in chennai

It has been almost 6 months since I have written a blog… So I was looking for a topic. It was like searching for ghee with butter in hand… This is school admission season so I could not think of a better topic..

Last few months have been an absolutely emotional roller coaster ride for all of us in the family. One of the reasons we came back to India for good was to put our daughter in a school. I have been both looking forward as well as fearing this phase of my life – Running around for my child’s school admission in India.

Believe me or not, we really did run around… Everything that one would fear about a child’s admission was there in front of us… Long lines, exorbitant application fees, horrible application issuance process, waiting for interview call, disappointment due to rejections, written test, personal interviews etc… etc… etc…

Our first step towards getting a school admission in Chennai was moving to RA Puram thinking that there are a lot of schools around this place and hence by chance or probability we should be able to secure an admission… Well obviously we were proved wrong. Some schools we applied but we did not get a call at all. Some schools we heard unofficially that they have brokers and can get admission for LKG for around Rs 75000 (Well you may know which schools am talking about… ;-))… One school, we got an interview card but the interview was atleast a couple of months later.

Finally we decided to expand our radius of school search and if need be we canshift our house. That paid off I should say. We looked for Schools in Adyar. We got interview calls from both Bharath Senior and Hindu Senior. There was a round of written test (Yes for KG, there is written test), recitation test, personal interview for parents and finally got admission in both. We finally chose to go with Hindu Senior… After a very long time, I had that sense of fear in me when I waiting for results… It was as if I have written an exam and waiting for results or as if I have attended an interview and waiting to hear back… I did have goose bumps when they called us saying Sahana has been selected and that we can pay the fees… It was an important phase of our parenthood and it was a great experience..

In the process I did feel that a couple of things need to change…

1)      Parents Attitude:

  1. Including myself, I think there is this CBSE mania in everyone’s mind. I don’t have anything against CBSE syllabus but without doing some research on whether there is a big difference between Matriculation and CBSE and seeing how relevant are those differences for our kid, I think we should not run behind something blindly. I did the same mistake but realized it later on. Everyone was running behind CBSE so, I ran too…
  2. Willingness to get a particular school’s admission at any ‘cost’ is another problem. There is a mad rush for certain schools. For such schools parents are willing to pay a hefty some of money.  We are still in a society which will take money as long as there are people willing to pay money. People talk about 75000, 100000 and more for just kinder garden admissions… It is simply unbelievable and unacceptable…

2)      Application Process

Despite all the technology advancement in all walks of our life, majority of the schools still follow pre independence processes. Admission process is largely manual where you have to stand in Que outside the school for long hours (some people come and sleep on the platform from previous night), only two or three counters, horrible amount of time to collect cash and hand over applications, etc. There are very few schools in Chennai which issue application online. Obviously not everyone is going to have internet access but it will atleast reduce the number of people standing in Que. If the concern is about collecting money, then they can simply ask us to drop a DD for the application amount when the application is submitted via drop box. In an age where even government agencies/departments are automating and going online, to see that vast majority of schools still not going online is extremely disheartening.

3) Age Limit inconsistency for KG admission

All the schools that we got application for were all CBSE. But each school has their own cut of date for age for deciding whether the child can go for LKG or UKG. This simply beats me. If the schools are all governed by Central Board syllabus, and are governed by some government educational body how can each of them have their own cut of dates. Luckily in Hindu senior the cut of date was that a child should have turned 4 by July 31st to be eligible for UKG, so Sahana is going to UKG directly. But other schools such as Sanakara, PSBB, etc have June 30th as the cut off which makes her short of eligibility by 15 days. Hence has to start from LKG… Am not insisting that she has to go UKG or LKG, but there has to be consistency across all the schools.

Anyways, our daughter has started a journey which is likely to continue for atleast another 18 to 20 years. I think, we have done our best to give her a good start :-).


About goks

My friends call me Goks and I like being called that way. :-) I am a Piscean by my sun sign and I perfectly fit the description that is available in any public domain. I am just saying that so that I dont have to write too much here. I am married and have a beautiful family... The fact that am married will reflect on my blogs hence no politically incorrect comments or posts from me... ;-) I started blogging in Sep 2009 after being inspired by a friend of mine (Actually my mentor on a lot of aspects of life) I discovered that it is a great way to express myself... Here is where I write - https://gokulraman.wordpress.com Am also an amateur photographer learning everyday. I have always felt that capturing something picture worthy on a camera is a very rewarding experience. Sharing it with others and seeing them enjoy that picture is even more rewarding. I take pics of just about anything hence no specialities. I specifically like shooting nature, animals, landscapes, etc. So if you are bored with what I have written, pls visit my photography blog... http://goks3rdeye.wordpress.com

Posted on March 31, 2012, in life, Opinion, Peelasophy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. School admission is becoming tougher than getting into IITs and IIMs. I guess everyone in TN is going for CBSE because of confusions over samacheer kalvi. However it is good that Sahana is straight into UKG, good luck to her.

    • 🙂 Well atleast I have to admit that I had no thought of Samacheer kalvi in my mind… I was like a sheep following other sheeps that run behind CBSE… 🙂

  2. i have seen the queue in front of DAV gopalapuram strecthing till US embassy..

  3. Thanks for sharing

  4. Nice Experience to talk with children.

  5. cdgan7@rediff.com

    My sister is trying to get a seat for her kid to LKG in some decent schools and guess what they are asking 1.5 Lacs as donation and 50k brokerage,yes through broker only 😦 and he is the only one who can get into the school admin office and come out. Its a shame that school admission has gone to such an extent. My God 1.5 Lacs for LKG!!! I completed my engineering in this amount, damn! What will be the state of India in some years (or Months?) 😦 😦 Looks like NRI’s should always be NRI’s and can never come back to settle down. God, Government doesn’t have any concern on this.

    • Hi… I Agree. I think the NRI’s and their attitude towards money is surely a part of the problem. But like I have listed down in my blog, there is always a way out… It just needs some real persistence from parents. I just simply chose to get a good admission from a school and then rented a house around that… Govt is not going to change, people’s attitude is not going to change… But if we need something, we have to find a way out.

      • Hi..I was thinking the schools have a distance restrictions for selection. IS it not there? Can we first get admission and shift our house after that?

      • Hi Shobhana… Let me put it this way. I actually first rented a place in RA Puram which has a lot of schools near by… Then I slowly expanded my radius and went to Adyar. Yes schools do recommend a limited radius primarily to make sure that children don’t travel a long distance. I gave them a verbal assurance that I will move and my daughter got selected and then I moved to adyar itself. It surely works… you just have to try. 🙂

  6. I think we have a new platform coming to our rescue for the school finding and chasing… I am sure all parents would like this as I. http://schooladmissioninfo.in

  7. I found the admission process so ridiculous in Chennai. 2013 we submitted form for LkG for my daughter in 10 schools around chooleimedu. Schools conducting interviews for 3yr old kid whicj itself I felt so ridiculous. Another thing was address proof. ..thy insisting on passport s ration cards etc etc. And some schools need salary certificate too. I wonder if we cannot afford to pay the school fee why thw hell shoulf we apply in your school. And after all this bullshit we realise that she did not get admission in any school. And when we started visiting school to check why we cannot get admission despite she giving all the answers v realise tht there r agents n lot of money involved. I was totally against giving money for admission. If the school collects same donation from each kid and it is accountable that s fine. But this is bribe…and that too for Kindergarden. Anyways both of us could not agree with it n we put her again the play school. Now I hv moved to Bangalore n my daughter got admission in UKG in a prestigious school without any hurdles. No interviews no written test. Just a meeting with the Principal n all done. The respect you get as a parent from the teachers principal is commendable.
    Thank God we decided to relocate and am very happy with that decision.

    • Hi Simmi, my apologies for such a late response. I have been out of wordpress for a while. I feel bad for you and the horrible experience you went through. I have heard a lot of such stories like yours and partly experienced it myself too. As mentioned in my post, I too had to relocate but within Chennai itself to get the right admission for our child instead of paying the “bribe” for a Kindergarten school admission. But I am glad that you finally got the admission and did not lose the respect you deserve as a part parent. All the best for your child.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: