Parents harassed by flawed online RTE admissions system
The online admissions process has begun in government-run schools under the Right To Education (RTE) Act, but there is chaos as the system has issues. Parents allege that the website fails to provide them with a password required for further process, without which they cannot proceed. Some who manage to get the password, are stalled when they reach the list of schools, as the Google Maps location remains unavailable and they don’t know whether the school falls within the permitted area under their residence pin code.
Some parents helped by NGOs in the process, are writing to the government, saying if due to the system failure their kids don’t get admission, the government is to be blamed. Representation pic/Thinkstock
The government started the process on schedule, but people are harassed by the issues. Amidst this, a few private school associations are protesting against RTE admissions and have decided to not register for the process.
Pushpa Hasbe, who works as a domestic help and is seeking admission for her kid, said, “The admission process has finally begun, but it looks so uncertain. I have already spent an entire day on this process without any success. I cannot afford to miss more working days as I will not be able to earn enough then.”
Another parent, Shobha Kochre, said, “We have all the documents ready. We have filled the information on the system more than once but when we proceed toward generating the password, the system fails.”
On the other hand, another parent, Abid Shaikh, an electrician, has managed to get a password, but cannot proceed further. “With the password, now we are certain that our signing-up for the process is successful.
But our application cannot be complete without including school names. But several schools on the website have not marked their location on Google Maps. In this case, if we pick school names based on our understanding of the locality, then the application can raise the problem of distance between school and residence.”
Parents who are being helped by NGOs to complete the application process, are now writing to the government pointing out the system’s failure, saying if their child does not get an admission, then the state will be responsible for it.
Sudhir Paranjpe, convener of the Anudanit Shikshan Bachao Samiti, which is helping parents from underprivileged backgrounds in the application process, said, “The system was begun only to save the education minister’s face as he had promised to begin the RTE admission process before April. But what is the point of such a system that is not prepared to run successfully? This is just waste of time.”
Unaided schools protest
To add to this, associations of private schools are coming together for their decision of not registering for the RTE admission process. Unaided schools’ associations are planning to challenge the mandatory admissions to pre-primary sections under the RTE because there is no fee-reimbursement for it.
When contacted, Dinkar Temkar, deputy director in Directorate of Primary Education who is handling the RTE admission system, said, “The process has just begun. We will rectify the issues faced by parents.”