Right to Education Act: Only 1,461 seats of 10,000 filled under free quota

BMC has closed the first round of RTE admissions and submitted a report about it to the deputy director of education

Over three months after the start of a new academic year, BMC has finally closed the first round of RTE admissions and a report on the same has been submitted to the deputy director of education.

According to this report, only 1,461 of the 10,000 seats available under the free quota of RTE Act have been filled up in schools. Once again, there’s no discussion on the second round of admission to fill up the remaining 8,539 seats.

“Out of the 2,596 seats allotted in the first round, 1,461 seats have been confirmed and filled in various schools. In many of the remaining cases, students have not approached the school for confirmation of admission so the seats are left vacant,” said Shambhavi Jogi, from BMC’s education department.

She added that this report was submitted to the deputy director of education on August 29 and that BMC is now waiting for the education department to give further instructions on whether round two of online lottery admissions will be conducted to fill up the remaining seats.

The first round of lottery admission to fill up the RTE seats in 280 city schools was held in the month of April 2015 and since then, there’s been no development on the second round of admissions.

Many parents had complained that schools were not accepting admissions of children even after the online system allotted the seats to their children and similarly, schools too were confused because they were asked to admit students in nursery/ kindergarten as well as Std I (entry level).

To make matters worse, a government resolution (GR) released on April 30 gave schools a free hand to cancel admissions of students, and this same GR was later squashed at the High Court.

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Activists have, time and again, stressed on the need for RTE admissions to be revived, especially since the Bombay High Court has given clear instructions for admissions to be continued.

“While many schools did confirm admission, there are an equal number of schools still not obliging because the education department fails to take appropriate action against the defaulting schools,” said Sudhir Paranjape, an activist with Anudanit Shiksha Bachao Samiti (ASBS).

He added that multiple allotments were given out to the same student in the first round, while others were told that they will get admission in the second round. “It’s been four months and these children are still home, waiting to hear from the education department,” added Paranjape.

Even as education officials are waiting for each other to decide the further course of action, principals of some privately run schools approached the state principal secretary of education, Nand Kumar, seeking exemption from following the 25% admission (through RTE online) rule in Std I.

“These schools were hoping for permission to do away with 25% admission in Std I but there’s nothing we can do for them. We have directed them to go to Supreme Court in such a case, because the order has come through the SC itself,” said Nand Kumar.

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