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Despite no RTE applications, 84 Mumbai schools have to keep seats vacant

If setting aside 25 per cent seats under the reservation quota was not enough, schools partaking in the online Right to Education (RTE) admissions this year have been instructed to leave the reserved seats vacant throughout the academic year.

Also read: 82% schools in Mumbai do not have adequate infrastructure

Where are the students? Most schools located in south Mumbai have received one, two or no applications under the RTE reserved quota
Where are the students? Most schools located in south Mumbai have received one, two or no applications under the RTE reserved quota

After the first round of RTE admissions that ended on Wednesday, 84 schools in the city have not received a single application for the reserved quota this year, according to the data provided by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Commission’s (BMC) education department.

Also read: 67 schools haven't received even one application for admission

“Most parents have concentrated on schools in the western suburbs, while a large number of schools in south Mumbai have received one, two or no applications,” said Sambhavi Jogi, education officer at BMC. Most schools under ICSE, CBSE and IGCSE boards that were a part of the RTE online process received few applications.

Also read: Mumbai students get seats under RTE, but schools yet to confirm admission

“Nevertheless, these schools will have to keep the seats vacant, even if they don’t receive any applications in the second round,” Jogi added.

The 84 schools with zero applications in the first round include Cosmos High School in Borivli, Little Star English Primary School in Prabhadevi, Lilavati Lalji Dayal High School and Vanita Vishram High School in Girgaum.

Most school officials were unavailable for comment due to summer vacation.

What’s the point?
Most schools have been up in arms about the rules surrounding the 25 per cent reservation quota.

Not only are they furious about being forced to keep the seats vacant, but they also claim that they have not received any reimbursement from the civic body’s education department for providing free education to students under the quota.

“How does the education department expect us to leave seats vacant in class? Isn’t it defeating the purpose of introducing an act that wants to ensure every child to get their right to education?” said Ramakant Pandey, principal of Bansidhar Agarwal High School in Wadala.

While the state is expected to reimburse a nominal fee to schools for every students that takes admission under the reservation quota, schools claim they have not yet received the amount.

57
No of schools that have received more applications than available reserved seats

171
No of schools that have received lesser applications than the available seats

Authority speak

"Schools have to follow all RTE norms in order to be eligible for the reimbursement. While schools have started admitting students under the RTEs reservation quota, since they have not fulfilled the regulations, they have not received the reimbursement," said N B Chavan, deputy director of school education.

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