Nagpur | July 1 last day for round 2 of RTE admissions

Nagpur: The education department has declared that students selected for free admissions under round two of Right To Education (RTE) lottery will have to complete the admission process by July 1. Till date 3,522 students have taken admissions in Nagpur district under RTE, according to education official Premchand Raut.

With admissions in July and possibility of a third round of RTE that could delay admissions further, the schools are unhappy. Rajendra Dayma, founder president of Independent English Schools Association (IESA) said, “The government should take stern actions to renew the admission process. The lottery system has resulted in delayed intake of students when the schools have already started. It becomes problematic for teachers to teach all the students at one level. Students who join in June are more acquainted with the subject than the students who join later. This creates a gap in the system, leading to dropouts. Attempts have been made to convince the government to finish admission procedure early. The procedure should get over by the month of May.”

Sanjay Tayde-Patil, founder president of Maharashtra English School Trustees Association, said, “RTE act is not applicable to students from minority schools. Hence parents are coerced into filling the names of reputed schools in order to get free education. This results in accumulation of applicants in reputed schools whereas seats in minority schools remain empty. The government should ensure admission to students in schools which are located 1- 2km away from their homes instead. There is a lack of reimbursement provided for the education under this act which is becoming a hurdle in its successful implementation.” Anil Asalkar, a senior academician said, “The implementation of the RTE lottery system should be quick. The admission procedures should get over by June first week. Once the student is allotted a school, they shouldn’t be reallocated schools. New students and leftover crowd should be considered for the vacant seats.” Amit Yenurkar from Sancheti Public School said, “The process initiated by RTE is very transparent. It is being conducted on a very large scale; hence the delay in admissions is bound to happen. Loss of studies can be compensated through remedial classes. The system has massively improved as compared to last year, and it is producing positive results”.

Source : The Times of India

Indore | Underprivileged students in dilemma over admission

Indore : Underprivileged students will continue to stand in line for admission under Right to Education Act (RTE) till September, while other students would have completed a major part of their syllabus for the first semester exams. This delay is a result of automated system, which government had decided to install in December, but did not complete installation till June.

Discussing the same matter with disability programs consultant (DPC) Akshay Rathore, Indore Parent Association (IPA) coordinator Anurodh Jain said, “Over 600 schools are out of affiliation and most of them are waiting for the last date of RTE admissions to pass, before reapplying.”

He explained that since, school’s affiliation has expired; they are not liable to give admissions to RTE students. “But it’s a tricky situation, as even after RTE admissions close, schools can apply for affiliation and continue to function legally,” Jain said.

Rathore considered the memorandum and assured IPA that he would be bringing up the matter with additional chief secretary (school education) SR Mohanty.

Source : The Free Press Journal

Mumbai | Private school will not provide free of cost education under RTE act!

Mumbai: While a few schools have refused to give entry to children seeking admission through the Right to Education (RTE) Act citing various reasons, many private schools who have given admission to children have refused to provide books and uniforms to them free of cost.

As many as 33 schools in the city were sent notices from the BMC’s education department for collecting fees after giving admission or compelling students to buy books, uniforms and other stationery items from the school on a charge and some for denial of admission itself.

A hearing with education officials was conducted on Wednesday of schools which were charging fees of various kinds or refusing to provide books and uniforms free of cost. It was attended by 20 of these schools, while some school representatives remained absent.

“Schools have complained that while they can provide admission under RTE, it is not financially viable for them to give books, uniforms and other items to children free of cost,” said an official. “They say they have activities such as field trips, for which they cannot charge RTE students, at the same time they cannot discriminate and must include these children in such activities,” the official added.

The reimbursement that schools are supposed to receive from the government for RTE admissions has not reached them for the past two years. The government reimburses schools for only tuition fees, that is, a maximum of Rs. 14,000 per child per annum.

While the RTE Act is unclear on the matter of schools having to give free books, uniform, etc, a 2014 circular issued by the education secretary (primary) of the state makes it clear that schools must provide these items to children seeking admission under the RTE Act, free of cost.

The circular states that parents should not be charged any kind of fee, including for these items. It further says that parents should also not be asked to buy these items from outside and if parents have made any such expense, then the school should reimburse them for it.

Department officials have asked schools to make a written representation regarding their issues. This will be sent to the deputy director of education. “Till there is a decision on the matter from the deputy director, we have asked schools to keep the matter on hold,” said an official.

On Thursday, there will be a hearing of six schools against which there are complaints of denying admission to students under the RTE Act.

Source : The Free Press Journal 

Mumbai | Mumbai Schools deny RTE admissions to under privileged children

Parents run from pillar to post as schools deny RTE admissions to under privileged children 

Mumbai: Schools have reopened for the new academic year but till date only 1,946 students of the 6,049 students whose applications had been confirmed for admissions through the Right to Education(RTE) Act this year, are in school now.

At the education officers’ office in Prabhadevi, there is a crowd of parents. Most of them Muslim, they have come from far and near in spite of their roza, for a 12 pm meeting with the deputy education officer. It is 4 pm and they are still waiting.

“The official was not here when we came, we were told he had another meeting,” said a parent whose child was denied admission by a school, though the school had been allotted to the child through the RTE process. MaltiJayant Dalal School in Juhu is denying admission to all the students who were allotted admission in the school this year. “They say they have a minority certificate, but when we ask them to show it, they don’t show,” said a parent. Minority schools do not have to give admissions under RTE. The school had registered for granting admissions under RTE and did not have a minority status at the time, said an official.

Similarly, St. Joseph School, Malad which had filled in an RTE intake capacity of 80 students for Std. I has admitted only five students under RTE this year. “The schools had given RTE admissions for its Pre-KG level already. It has made a mistake of putting all 25% seats of Std. I for RTE admissions, but that is not our mistake,” said an official of the BMC education division. “Now, all the seats that they had declared available have got allotted, but the school is denying admissions,” he said.

“The schools tell us we live in slums, that we should go to municipality schools,” said Sameer Sheikh, a parent, who is seeking admission for his child in Std. I.

“We will be issuing notices to 33 schools against which we have received various complaints. We have also called a hearing for the two schools which have denied admissions, on Thursday,” said Prakash  Charhate, Deputy Education Officer.

Some schools have denied admissions to children because the income certificates their parents provided were bogus. Though the schools were asked by the deputy director, education to give a chance to these parents to provide proper certificates, some of these schools have filed an FIR against the parents.  The education department has also received complaints of schools that were demanding tuition fee from students who were admitted through RTE. Of the three rounds that take place under RTE admission process, only one round has taken place till date, the round two is expected to start by June 30, said an official.

Source : The Free Press Journal

Indore | Online process begins for RTE admissions in private schools in Indore

The first-ever online process for admission to private schools under the Right to Education (RTE) quota began in Madhya Pradesh’s industrial city Indore on Thursday, Rajya Shiksha Kendra commissioner Deepti Gaur Mukherjee said.

The RTE Act guarantees the right to full-time elementary education to all and mandates a minimum of 25% free seats for the children belonging to the weaker sections in all private unaided primary schools. However, there had been reports of irregularities during the manual system earlier.

Keeping that in mind, the government decided to go online to keep the admission process transparent. The school education department has tied up with the National Informatics Centre to provide the RTE admission portal.

Indore district project coordinator AS Rathore said the system has been eased for the parents who are not internet-savvy. They can get the admission form from the portal downloaded, fill it up manually and submit it to the nearby private school or block resource coordinator (BRC). The latter can then upload the form online.

Parents can submit forms till June 30. They will get time from June 24 to July 4 to make changes or corrections. After that the department will conduct scrutiny of the forms and announce the names following a lottery on July 7. On the basis of draws, parents can admit their kids in schools between July 8 and July 16.

He said, “The parents, who are net-savvy, can fill the form online with the required information and their school preference. They can upload the form themselves with an online receipt.”

This year, as many as 998 private schools out total 1057 recognised schools are going to participate in the RTE online process against 1,390 schools affiliated to the CBSE and the state board across Indore district previous year. In 2015, the education department managed to fill only 4,912 (23.27 percent) seats out of 21,105 seats available under the RTE quota in Indore district after three round of admission from the month of February to July first week that year.

Officials attribute the situation to the lack of awareness about the law in rural areas, besides parents’ preference for CBSE schools over the state board-affiliated institutions.

Source : Hindustan Times

Nashik | 188 seats under RTE vacant in city schools

Nashik: City schools have the maximum number of vacant seats, as many as 188 of them, across the district under the 25% reservation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009.

Unless these seats are filled, the education department cannot move on with round II of the admission process.

As many as 1,761 children have been given admission in schools in the district as per the scheme. The total number of vacant seats now stands at 207, of which, 188 seats are from Nashik city alone.

The deadline for giving admissions was last extended from May 15 to May 20. But the schools were permitted to continue with the process till the number of vacant seats was reduced to zero.

Admissions are being given under the draw of lots. The education department has extended the deadline four times in order to accommodate maximum students under RTE. In the entire district, 5,585 forms were filled for 5,900 seats.

“In the first lot, 1,761 admissions have been confirmed in the district, 207 are remaining and 394 have not approached. Out of the 207 seats remaining, 188 are from Nashik city alone. We wrote to the administrative officer of the Nashik Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) education department. He was to conduct meeting of all the headmistresses and ask them to give the admissions. Unless all the seats are filled, we cannot conduct the second round. The process has been delayed due to the city schools,” said extension officer of the zilla parishad’s education department Dhananjay Koli.

An officer of the NMC’s education department said that the administrative officer had conducted the meeting after issuing notices to schools.

“The schools were asked to give admission and many schools are complying,” said the education officer.
 He said that after the first round is completed, the second round will begin and it is only after that the number of vacancies can be gauged.
“Our attempt is to admit maximum students in schools,” he added.

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Triplicane | Schools continue to violate RTE Act

Six students from poor families and enrolled through the Right to Education Act in two schools in Triplicane and Royapettah are on the verge of dropping out of school at the primary classes itself.

The schools have sternly told the parents from the economically weaker sections to pay the tuition fee immediately if they wanted their children to continue studies instead of waiting for the government’s refund as per the RTE Act.

Shareef works in a mutton stall and his son has finished his Class I. But the matriculation school in Balaji Nagar, where he is studying, has sent him home telling his father to pay the fee. “The school has raised a bill for Rs. 22,000, including books. My son has been studying there since L.K.G,” his wife Naseema Begum said. Shareef has approached the Directorate of Matriculation Schools.

CBSE schools

A CBSE school on Ellis Road has similarly provided an ultimatum to five of its students. Nasreen was told that her daughter could continue in Class I only if she paid the tuition fees. “The school authorities said they had not received refund from the government and asked us to pay tuition fee of Rs.480 per month,” she said.

Until last year, the fee was Rs. 5,000 per year. “My husband is a labourer in a hotel. We could not even afford to buy books,” she said, adding that she chose the school as it was one street away from home. Sauziya, whose child is also on the verge of dropping out, said she is trying to raise the money by Monday. “All the five children are in a similar situation,” she said.

“Schools that violate the RTE Act and demand fee will be strictly dealt with,” a senior official of the Directorate of Matriculation Schools said.

Schools tell parents of poor students to immediately pay the tuition fee or keep the children at home

Source : The Hindu

‘Discussions on to make changes in RTE Act’

Discussions are on at the national level to bring about changes to the Right to Education (RTE) Act in the backdrop of the lower enrolment ratio in government schools, Minister of State for Primary and Secondary Education Kimmane Ratnakar has said.

Speaking to presspersons here on Tuesday, he said that the Act was passed to ensure quality education to children from economically weaker sections of society. However, most of the parents of such children were preferring private schools and it was leading to fewer children being enrolled in government schools.

It was also creating financial burden to States, as the government had to spend a huge amount to ensure admission of children to private schools under the RTE Act.

“So far the State government has spent Rs. 400 crore to admit children under the RTE Act from lower kindergarten to Class 3 in private schools. This expense will go up to Rs. 1,500 crore next year when we will start enrolling children up to Class 8,” Mr. Ratnakar said.

The Union government too had noticed this fact and it was discussed at seminars on RTE Act attended by Education Ministers of States. However, the Centre had to take a final call in this direction, he said. Asked about a move to close down government schools with poor enrolment ratios, Mr. Ratnakar said that there was no such proposal.

“But, the government has decided to merge schools with poor enrolment ratios. It is not practically possible to run a school with a handful of children. Therefore, the opinion of parents will be sought and if they agree to send their children to a nearby school, the government will go ahead with the merger proposal. If the parents insist on sending their children to the same school, the government will run the school even if there is only

 Necessity

Mr. Ratnakar said that the merger of schools was a necessity in rural areas as the rural population was coming down by the day. It was one of the reasons for poor enrolments in government schools in villages, he said.

The government had decided to develop one school in each gram panchayat as a model school. There was a plan to provide vehicles to schools that were merged if the children had to cover a longer distance, Mr. Ratnakar said.

The government would provide Rs. 120 crore for nearly 400 government pre-university science colleges to set up laboratories this year, Mr. Ratnakar added.

Source : The Hindu

Tirumangalam | Admission denied under RTE Act

The children of a Dalit couple, hailing from a poor economic background, were allegedly denied admissions under the Right to Education Act by a popular private matriculation school located in Tirumangalam here.

P. Kutti Kamatchi (30), whose husband works as a casual labourer, said that she tried for admission at the school for his son and daughter for Class 1 and LKG respectively.

“When I approached the school last week, they bluntly rejected saying that they were not admitting anyone under RTE Act,” Mr. Kamatchi alleged, adding that they demanded a capitation fee of about Rs. 5,000 per child for immediate admission.

“They told me that they had not received the refund of fee from the government last year for the children admitted under the RTE Act. Hence, they were not admitting anyone under the RTE Act now,” she said.

Ms. Kamatchi claimed that when she contacted the authorities at the office of the Inspector of Matriculation Schools (IMS) in Madurai, she was suggested to apply in other schools in their neighbourhood.

“When I said I wanted to apply for another popular school in the area, the officials said that admissions might be already over in that school,” she alleged.

A. Rajini, advocate and convener of People’s Movement for Social Justice, said that the situation was not different in most other private schools which allegedly denied admissions under the RTE Act citing frivolous reasons. “They may give reasons like the residence of the child is far from the school. The tendency is to reject the applications instead of accommodating more students from deprived backgrounds,” he said.

When contacted, IMS of Madurai P. Srinivasamurthy, said he would inquire into it soon.

 Source : The Hindu

Activists question tardy process as 10,000 seats still vacant

Pune: For the third year in a row, several beneficiaries of the Right to Education (RTE) Act from Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad will get to join school much later than the official date.

Though the new academic year kicked off on Wednesday, nearly two thirds of the seats reserved in schools under the act remain vacant. At the end of the first round that lasted for almost a month, the RTE admissions committee – headed by the Pune zilla parishad education officer – could fill up only 6,000 of the total 16,000 seats available in 781 schools.

A second round of admissions will be conducted from June 20.

Education experts and activists have criticized the authorities for once again failing to admit students to schools on time.

“It’s frustrating, the way the admission process is moving forward. Year after year, the same issues keep cropping up. There is no forward movement even in the fifth year of admissions and third year of centralized online admissions. The authorities have used the ‘teething troubles’ excuse far too long,” activist Maitreyee Shankar of the Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat said.

She emphasized the need to ensure quick redressal of grievances and a clear defined process for parents to raise their complaints.

“Violations are not being addressed and parents have nowhere to go. Help centres should remain functional till the time the admission process is completed and not just while applications are being filled. The schedule for meetings of the admission committees should be put up on the site and the minutes of the meetings should also be made public,” Shankar added.

On Thursday night, some parents received text messages about the selections. The admission website put up updates about the second round late on Friday. Of the 17,000-odd applications, only 7,900 children have received allotments in the first round and many more are still waiting. Parents said the education office has provided no clear intimation about the timeline of the admissions procedure.

Activists have also complained that schools continue to charge the beneficiaries for books, uniforms and other material and deny them admissions if these expenses are not covered. An activist of the Aam Admi Party (AAP) said the actual number of seats available in Pune was also in doubt as many schools have filled the data voluntarily and still deny admissions.

 AAP spokesperson Mukund Kirdat said, “Many schools must have misguided the officials about the number of seats available, mainly at pre-primary level. One reason behind this failure is the disparity and social attitude towards parents from the weaker section (of society). Another reason is the reimbursement issue. Schools are eligible for reimbursement (for expenses incurred on beneficiaries) as per the RTE Act. The act has clearly stated the months of instalments. If this is a genuine issue faced by schools, they must approach the education minister and court instead of denying admissions to children belonging to economically weaker sections.”
AAP members predicted that the total number of admissions in Pune may not go beyond 8,500 and said the failure was a combined responsibility of the education department, local bodies and unaided schools.

Dhananjay Pardeshi, assistant education officer at the civic education board handling RTE admissions, said, “In the first round, we have achieved a good number of admissions as compared to last year. There are a few complaints here and there, but we are trying to resolve all the complaints and get admissions done. We will also look into schools that are denying children admissions.”

 Under RTE Act, 25 per cent seats in entry level classes (Standard I or pre-primary) of all unaided schools must be kept reserved for students from backward classes of society.