Maharashtra: Parents told to confirm RTE admissions by March 24

KOLHAPUR: The district primary education department has asked the parents involved in the lottery process of the Right To Education (RTE) admission process to confirm their wards’ admission by March 24. The first lottery of this season was organised on March 13.
Officials from the department said there were around 70 schools which received an overwhelming response. The lottery process was organised keeping these schools in mind.

“Parents, whose wards have been selected in the lottery process, will get an SMS directly on their registered mobile number. Those candidates who did not get selected, even their parents will get the information through an SMS,” said the official.
He added the selected parents will have to confirm their wards’ admission in a particular school by March 24.
The official added the second round of the admission process will commence once the formalities of the first round gets completed by March 24. A separate circular regarding the same will be released soon.
“While the department has received only 2,880 applications for admissions under the RTE quota, there are as many as 3,501 seats reserved for the eligible candidates in 347 schools across the city and the district,” said the official.

It has to be noted the RTE admission process commenced from January 10 this year with the registration of schools. In the stipulated time, around 347 schools registered for the RTE. Due to some technical glitch, the registration for the parents started from February 10 and was extended to March 7.
Under the RTE act, economically and socially disadvantaged children as well as those with disabilities can be admitted to Class I or the pre-primary stage of private unaided schools. These children receive free education including textbooks and other facilities.

Source: The Times of India

Delhi: Notice to school for ‘denying child seat under EWS quota’

Expressing concern over a private school denying admission to a child under EWS category, the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) asked the school to admit the student and submit a compliance report by February 13. Issuing a notice to PP International School, DCPCR said it had denied the child admission in the 2017-18 session due to “mismatch between online details and documentary evidence”, and “doubts over the authenticity of the income certificate submitted”.

As per the commission, the child had been allotted a seat before his parents changed his name. When he went to school to get admission, he was told the documents did not match. DCPCR said the parents had issued an ad declaring the change. “They gave the corrected birth certificate and filed an affidavit,” DCPCR member Anurag Kundu said.

The school challenged this, saying the documents were submitted in August — after the last day of July 22, 2017. Vice-principal Deepti Bector said: “For changing a name, a legal process has to be followed. But DCPCR has tactfully picked up the partial part of the rejection reason — ‘mismatch between online details and documentary evidence’ — while the complete reason was ‘mismatch between online details and documentary evidence in birth certificate’. The child now has two birth certificates.”

However, Section 15 of the RTE Act, 2009, states that a child cannot be denied admission over lack of documents. “As per the RTE, a simple declaration of the child’s age by parent is sufficient proof for admission,” Kundu said. The commission also raised objections to the school saying the child did not belong to the EWS category. “They said the father’s income is more than minimum wage and raised doubts about the income certificate. The school is not an authority to decide. We asked them to write to the authority concerned to verify the authenticity,” Kundu said. But the school said the seat has been carried forward to the next academic session by the Department of Education. “DCPCR has not conducted enquiry of the complainant. It has only passed order against the school,” Bector said.

Source: The Indian Express

Gujarat: RTE intake from last week of February

AHMEDABAD: The admissions procedure for school seats under Right to Education quota, will begin in the last week of February. The admission process will be online this year as well. The process has been delayed by more than three weeks this years.
Last year, admissions began on February 4. The dates published this year show that online admissions will begin in the last week of February. The education department has asked the district education officers and district primary education officers to prepare a detailed action plan, including details of availability of seats at each school. The plan has to be read by February 15.
The board has also decided that the helpline number and concerned official’s number will be displayed on the website so parents can contact the officials directly.
The board has also sent emails to schools seeking details of the total number of seats and the number available under RTE. The board has also asked officials in each district to carry out a through investigation into the background of each set of parents before granting RTE admissions.
The education department recently handed over papers submitted by 250-odd sets of parents — who faked poverty on paper, to secure admission for their wards at schools of their choice — to the police, to begin criminal action against them. This is the first time police action will be taken against well-off parents for forging documents to take advantage of a scheme meant for poor children.

Source: The Times of India

Karnataka: Admissions to RTE quota seats to start from February 20

BENGALURU: Admissions to Right to Education (RTE) quota seats for the academic year 2018-19 will begin from February 20. According to the timetable scheduled by the state Department of Public Instructions, seat aspirants for the 25 per cent quota RTE seats can submit applications from February 20 to March 21. The first round of online lottery for seat selection will be held on April 6.

Meanwhile, for the first time, the department has brought even aided schools under the ambit of the RTE Act. From 2018-19 academic year, even aided schools will have to reserve 25 per cent of seats under the RTE quota. Over 3,000 aided schools in the state will come under the RTE ambit and as a result over 15000 more seats will be added this year.

Meanwhile, private unaided schools in the state are allowed to fill the 75 per cent of non-RTE seats only after May 30.

important dates
Submission of online applications under RTE quota: From February 20 to March 21
First round seat allotment through online lottery: April 6
Apr 7 to 17: Students who have been allotted seats in first round to get admission at the respective schools
Second round seat allotment: April 26
Apr 27 to May 5: Students who got allotted seats in 2nd round to get admission at respective schools
Third round seat allotment: May 14
May 16 to 22: Students who have been allotted seats in the third round to get admission at the respective schools

Source: The New Indian Express

Karnataka: 18,000 more RTE seats in aided schools this year

For the first time since the Right to Education (RTE) Act was enforced, the State government has mandated that government-aided schools, apart from private schools, should reserve seats for students from socio-economic disadvantaged sections of society. This will see nearly 3,000 aided schools and over 18,000 additional seats coming within the ambit of the RTE Act, said officials of the Department of Public Instruction (DPI). There are currently over 1.28 lakh seats available in over 11,900 unaided schools.

Until now, only unaided schools were reserving 25% of their seats for students from weaker sections and disadvantaged groups. These schools receive reimbursement based on the students they admit under the quota.

According to Section 12 (1)(b) of the RTE Act, aided schools would have to provide free and compulsory elementary education to the children admitted based on the annual recurring aid or grants, subject to a minimum of 25%. However, aided schools will not receive any reimbursement for admitting the students.

There is mixed response to this move. Some schools feel waiving fees for students under the quota may not work out for them financially as they charge nominal fees from other students. “By reserving some seats without reimbursement, we may not be able to meet infrastructural requirements,” said a management representative.

However, for others there is a sense that at least through RTE quota, currently empty classrooms may get a fresh lease of life. “We are all Kannada-medium schools and are struggling to survive. We will admit students if they opt for seats through the RTE quota,” said a school representative.

The DPI has announced the calender of events for RTE events, and parents can file online applications for their wards between February 20 and March 21. The first round of seats will be allotted on April 6.

Private school have been asked to fill the remaining 75% of seats only after the three-rounds of RTE admissions are completed by May 30.

However, private schools are unhappy with the move, and said they will defy the order. D. Shashi Kumar, general secretary, Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka (KAMS) said there is always a delay in RTE admissions as seen over the past three years, and they cannot take a risk in admissions over the next academic year.

Source: The Hindu

RTE reimbursement goes down; leaves Rajasthan private schools jittery

JAIPUR: Private schools in Rajasthan have raised objection to the sharp decline in reimbursement on account of admissions under the Right to Education. Rajasthan is the only state in the country which has slashed the RTE reimbursement per unit twice in the last two years. Per student reimbursement has been slashed from Rs 17,500 in 2015-16 to Rs 13,945 in 2017-18 leaving the private schools jittery. The per unit expenditure in 2016-17 was Rs 15,029.
The reimbursement for RTE is similar to the cost spent by the state on students enrolled in its schools. The expenditure is calculated by dividing the total expenditure spent on students from class I to VIII. The expenditure is calculated on the basis of salaries paid to teachers, grant for facilities to schools up to upper primary and cost on books.

Damodar Goyal, president of Society for Private Unaided Schools in Rajasthan says that the clear impact of the slash will leave schools with no choice but to increase the fees. “Schools have no choice to fill the financial burden from the remaining students or non-RTE students. The cost of every single article in the country is rising so the expenditure per child by the private schools is rising,” said Goyal.
A private school requesting anonymity says that even if they don’t count a single penny on anything other than the salaries of their teachers their expenditure shot by 5% to 8%. “As every hardworking employee expects a reward in terms of annual increment so the teachers and staff expect the same. The reimbursement which we receive does not make even 20% of the annual fee we charge,” said a principal of a private school.
Explaining the reduction in reimbursement, a government official explains that the state has added around 18 lakh students in last 3 years with rationalization of teachers and closing down of several hundred schools has reduced the per child expenditure. “The correction in per unit cost to continue for couple of more years before the cost will rise,” said a government official.

The state has highest number of students admitted under the RTE. The cumulative figure is around 7 lakh students across the state. State pays reimbursement in two instalments to private schools after several rounds of verification of students.

Source: The Times of India

Maharashtra: Less than one-third registrations for RTE quota admissions, deadline extended

The boycott of RTE admissions by private school managements is beginning to show its effect with the number of vacancies available for the coming academic year recording a sharp decline. In fact, the number of school registrations for EWS quota admissions is so low that the state government had to extend the deadline for registrations from January 20 to 25, raising questions over the availability of RTE EWS quota seats for the coming academic year.

State government officials insist the extension in deadline is “routine” and there is nothing special about it but a look at the numbers proves the claims otherwise and the extension of deadline does appear like the state government coming under pressure.

School managements have been demanding that the pending dues for RTE reimbursements of previous years be cleared before fresh admissions are given. Though the state government sanctioned Rs 100 crore recently, the school managements claim the government owes them close to Rs 800 crore and they won’t give any RTE admissions till the arrears are cleared.

In Pune district, for example, where last year 15,693 vacant seats were available for EWS admissions in over 600 schools, this year the number so far is less than half. As of January 22 evening, nearly 12 days after the RTE registration process started for schools and two days beyond the initial deadline, only 325 schools had registered and the total number of RTE seats stood at 6,196. In some districts, the situation is worse as school registration numbers are in single digits. Like Solapur, where only one school has registered and total vacancies are only 12 seats, or Nanded, where five schools signed up and the entire district has 49 RTE EWS seats to offer so far. In Mumbai, the situation is bleak too where 21 schools have registered and only 421 seats available. This, despite the state government warning of dire consequences if schools do not complete the registration process for RTE admissions.

School managements, for their part, have come together to fight against what they term the government’s high-handedness. Rajendra Singh, secretary, Independent English Schools Association (IESA), said schools are aware of the government threats, including de-recognition, but they would not give in. “We have a meeting of all school associations in Mumbai where we will make further announcements,” he said.

Sharad Gosavi, deputy director (primary education), said schools have no choice but to register. “The GR issued by the state government is very clear that those schools which are eligible for EWS quota seats under RTE and were a part of the process last year will have to register themselves. The registration process is only for schools to specify their entry point, which is Class I or pre-primary, and seats. Even if they don’t register themselves, the state government will find a resolution to this situation. But under no circumstance will it be that this year’s RTE seats are lesser than last year,” he said.

Source: The Indian Express

Karnataka: From next year, aided schools need to reserve seats under RTE quota

From the 2018-2019 academic year, even aided schools will have to provide reservation for students from weaker sections in their neighbourhoods.

The State government issued an order on Tuesday on the procedure to be followed for the admission process under RTE quota. This is the first time that aided schools will provide reservation. Hitherto, only unaided schools were providing 25% of their seats under the quota.

The Government Order states that as per Section 12 (1) (b) of the RTE Act, aided schools would have to provide free and compulsory elementary education to the children admitted based on the annual recurring aid or grants, subject to a minimum of 25%. The order also states that unaided sections in aided schools should also follow the rule but would be reimbursed for it. The rest of the criteria and process of admission are the same as what was followed in 2017-18. Also, it is compulsory that the child and one of the parents have Aadhaar card.

Source: The Hindu

Maharashtra – RTE admission crisis: Education department blinks first, extends registration deadline to buy time

NAGPUR: To tide over the current RTE admission boycott crisis, Maharashtra’s education department has extended the deadline for schools to register online till January 25. The original deadline of Saturday became untenable after approximately 3,000 private unaided schools decided to stay away from the RTE admission process because of non-payment of dues. While deadlines have been extended in previous years as well, given this year’s stand-off between school associations and education department, the latest deadline extension is seen as the government coming under pressure.
School associations are refraining from officially commenting on the education department’s deadline extension and claiming a moral victory, as they do not want to “antagonize” the already strained relationship. A local school trustee, said, “The ball is now in the government’s court. We have made our stand clear and we can’t be reacting for every action they take. The deadline extension is clearly a case of them blinking first but still it is not a statement. Maybe they are willing to talk to us, maybe they are hoping to drive a wedge between us by luring some schools to the other side. It’s better for us to keep quiet for now and wait for something concrete to happen.”

Various school associations have now come together under a common federation to put up a united face. Rajendra Singh, secretary of Independent English Schools Association (IESA), said, “On January 27, we will be addressing a press conference in Mumbai in which other association members will also be there.”
While the schools have adopted a wait and watch policy, the education department is trying the micro-management strategy. Dipendra Lokhande, district’s education officer, said, “There are 253 schools in Nagpur district that have not registered for RTE yet, and the admission process cannot move ahead till every single school submits the form online. We will now be asking our officials to follow up with individual schools under their area and get the process moving.”
But even Lokhande admits that as of now his officials can only ‘request’ and not take any action. “Action against schools is a decision that has to be taken at the state-level. I will follow whatever orders come from superiors. For now, we will just speak with principals and see that they do not face any problems while registering,” said Lokhande.
Now all eyes will be on January 27 when all school associations are planning to address a joint press conference. Though deadline for registration in January 25 midnight, the government won’t take any immediate action against schools with the next day being a public holiday. Another school trustee, who manages a multi-branch institute, said, “After one week, only two things will happen. Either school associations back down after accepting some written assurance from state government, or all hell breaks loose with the education department initiating strong action like derecognition of schools.”

Source: The Times of India

Maharashtra: 23 CBSE schools decide to boycott RTE admissions due to non-payment of dues by Maha govt

23 CBSE schools from Nagpur have decided to boycott the RTE (Right To Education) admission process for 2018-19 academic session because of non-payment of dues by the Maharashtra government. These 23 schools came under the banner of a newly formed organization called Nagpur CBSE Private School Management Association and have written to the Deputy Director of Education making it clear that they won’t be registering their schools online for RTE. So far, the education department has not reacted as the deadline for RTE registration ends on Saturday midnight.

The letter signed by association chairperson, Neeru Kapai, has made it clear that unless and until all RTE dues are cleared, their member schools won’t be admitting any students. Kapai is co-founder of Modern School which has two branches with almost 5,000 students.

Another organization which has both CBSE and state board schools as its members, will be taking a final call on RTE admission boycott on Saturday. Independent English Schools Association (IESA) executive body will be meeting in Nagpur where its member-schools from eastern Maharashtra will decide on boycotting RTE registrations. Rajendra Dayma, vice-president of IESA, said, “Already in Jalna district we have boycotted the process and hope that schools in Nagpur too take a similar call. IESA has also approached the Aurangabad bench of Bombay High Court over non-payment of RTE dues by state government.”

As per the RTE Act, private unaided (non-minority) schools reserve 25% of their seats for free admissions to students selected by respective state governments under RTE norms. In lieu of these free admissions, schools receive a fixed amount per year, per child. For academic session 2017-18 this fee was approximately Rs.17,000 per child. However, payments by the government have been sporadic with many getting part payments hardly 30% of their total dues.

Since RTE lottery and student selection process is online, schools have to register on the education department portal giving details of the seat availability. This registration had to be completed by midnight of January 20 in Nagpur. With the 23 schools already deciding to pull out, and chances of dozen or more members of IESA doing the same, it remains to be seen how the education department will handle the crisis.

Source: The Times of India