Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation’s (NMMC) education board recently directed 182 private aided schools in the satellite city to reserve 25 per cent of their seats at entry level for underprivileged children, under the Right To Education (RTE) Act. At a meeting of education board officials with heads of the schools, the latter were instructed to impart free and compulsory elementary education to these children.
The notification states that 25 per cent seats be set aside for children from disadvantaged groups like Scheduled Castes (SC) or Scheduled Tribes (ST), or those with disabilities. Also, those belonging to the weaker sections like OBC and NT can avail of this facility.
The notice, which was issued on March 15, gives preference to the girl child under the RTE. RC Naikwadi, education officer of NMMC, said that this is the second year that this provision has been made available. “Last year, since the notification came in the latter half of May, not many students in need could avail of the facilities. This year, since the notification was issued in mid-March, schools have already been directed to publish a notice explaining the procedure admission under quota for entry-level students,” said Naikwadi.
He added, “The entry level of private schools could be pre-nursery, nursery or even grade one. Students in need should be able to take advantage of this facility. In case the school receives excessive number of applications from children, then they need to conduct a lottery. However in this lottery, girls need to be given preference.” Private schools are expected to complete the admission procedure by June 12.
Unaided minority schools are exempted from reserving seats. Till date, 37 schools have submitted certificates, with the NMMC education department stating that they come under this category. Naikwadi added, “People from the weaker sections often cannot afford to go to such private schools despite being academically bright. The notification clearly states that children can avail of education at such schools free of cost. Application forms can also be downloaded from the website at http://www.mpsp.maharashtra.gov.in/SITE/Home/Home.aspx.”