Education dept doesn't know what to do with 4,000 empty seats

Jul 01, 2014, 07:43 IST | Niranjan Medhekar

Officials are wondering whether to fill up the reserved seats still lying vacant after completion of the second round of admissions to the 25 per cent quota for economically weaker sections under the Right to Education Act

The second round of admissions have been completed to fill the 25 per cent quota of seats reserved for students from the economically weaker section (EWS) under Right To Education (RTE) Act. But nearly 4,000 seats in private schools in the city are still lying vacant. The state education department has now been left in a quandary over whether to leave these seats vacant or give approval to schools to fill them up partially.

“The law says that all RTE seats can be filled. But we have to find the golden mean, as the number of vacant seats lying vacant this year is quite big,” said S Choklingam, state education commissioner. However, education activist and president of Shikshan Hakka Manch Matin Mujawar alleged that the department is responsible for not effectively implementing the RTE Act.

‘Proves inefficiency’
“The high number of seats lying vacant in private schools even after RTE admissions proves the inefficiency of the government. The law clearly states that only students belonging to economically weaker sections should be admitted to the 25 per cent seats reserved under the RTE Act. So schools cannot fill up these seats by admitting regular students.

The commissioner should not worry about the vacant seats. Rather, he should ensure that the number of these vacant seats decrease, by thinking of ways to increase the number of seats filled under the RTE quota,” Mujawar said.

He added, “Besides giving ads in papers, the education department had done nothing to promote RTE admissions. The education department should reach into the slums in the city to spread awareness about the admissions.”

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