The ordeal of getting your kids admitted to a school may get much less onerous as early as next year, with the state government planning to take all entry-level admissions to schools online.

Activists say online admissions will help bring parity in the procedure so that parents and students are not targeted by school managements. Representation pic
Activists say online admissions will help bring parity in the procedure so that parents and students are not targeted by school managements. Representation pic

Despite the online admissions procedure for the 25% RTE quota seats hitting several roadblocks (see box), education minister Vinod Tawde and senior officials in the education department seem very keen on getting the new admissions system off the ground as early as possible.

State education minister Vinod Tawde
State education minister Vinod Tawde

“The software is being prepared to conduct all entry-level admissions across the state via an online process. Once this software is ready and approved by the government, we will have a clearer picture. The details are still sketchy so far,” said Mahavir Mane, state education director.

For the past couple of years, the state education department has been insisting on a uniform admission schedule to be followed in all schools, across all boards. This has not gone down well with non state-board schools, since most of them start their entry-level admission process by December-January, while state board schools conduct admissions after March.

“This year, we might not see admissions for all entry-level students going online because some schools have already started the admission procedure. Schools which are not happy with online admissions have failed to see how taking the process online will make their lives much easier. Not only will parents be at an advantage, but schools will also benefit as their paperwork will be reduced,” said a senior education department official.

First step
Activists have been demanding a centralised admissions system for entry-level admissions for some time now, especially since Maharashtra doesn’t even have a fee regulation bill or other such regulations in place. They now have reason to be cautiously optimistic.

“First of all, the state needs to ensure that all schools adopt the online admissions process, including ICSE, CBSE and international schools. The aim is to bring about parity in the admissions procedure so that parents and students are not targeted by school managements,” said Jayant Jain, president of Forum for Fairness in Education (FFE).

He added that a similar model was applied in Delhi a few years ago, but it failed miserably due to the various quotas. “It will be a difficult task as no other state has applied such rules. But, doing so is the need of the hour in Maharashtra,” added Jain.