The RTE Act and its different provisions continue to be a source of debate and discontent. Even while most of the members of the Democratic Front cabinet expressed discontent with the income ceiling of Rs 1 lakh set for admission in schools under the 25 per cent economically weaker section quota mandated by the Act, the state has missed the deadline it had set itself to complete admissions to this quota. The seats will now remain open for admission all through the year, till they are filled up.
According to sources in Mantralaya, it had earlier been decided that the admission process would be completed by June 10 — but this deadline failed as officials of the school education department weren’t even notified about it. In fact, a workshop on the admission process was held only after this deadline had passed, on June 12. A process is underway at Mantralaya to issue a fresh notification that will make the admission process a continuous affair for the duration of the academic year.
Amidst the reigning chaos over the delay, some of the ministers expressed their displeasure over the income ceiling set at Rs 1 lakh per annum by the government for parents who wanted to avail of the 25 per cent admissions quota reserved for children from the economically weaker sections of society. It should have been at least Rs 2 lakh, said ministers during the state cabinet meeting on Wednesday, but their plea was rejected, citing the fact that the limit has been laid down at the Centre and is applicable across the states.
Focus on girl child
It was, however, decided that the benefit would only be offered to families with two children, with various accompanying riders — if the couple has a male and female child each, the reserved seat is accessible only by the female child; if the couple has girls, both will be privy to the reservation. And in case both are male, one of the two will have access to the quota. Meanwhile, the fresh notification will make the vacant seats prescribed under the quota open throughout the year. Schools will have to fill them up whenever applicants approach them in course of the current academic year.