Maharashtra | Schools may not reopen on due date

Unaided schools in the city and state have said that they will not be reopening on the scheduled June 15 date as the government has failed to reimburse the fees for the students admitted under 25 per cent reservation quota of the Right to Education (RTE) Act for the past three years. The schools have also said that apart from the reimbursement they also want the amount to be brought at par with what is being paid per student in government run schools. The schools have written to the school education department regarding the same and are awaiting a response from them.

Rajendra Singh, president of the Federation of Private Unaided Schools Association of Maharashtra said that in the absence of reimbursements it was becoming extremely difficult for the schools to continue operations. “Numerous unaided schools have refused to accept admissions under the RTE quota for the academic year 2016-17 due to non-payment of arrears. Rather than paying the arrears the state derecognised many of them,” said Mr Singh.

He further added, “As the cost of running the school has gone up and the government is not showing any haste in paying the arrears, the private unaided schools across the state are left with no option but to keep the schools shut. We have written to the education department informing them about our decision. If there is still no response, we will be forced to keep the schools shut,” said Mr Singh.

While principal secretary of school education Nand Kumar was unreachable for comment, an official said that the reimbursement file of the schools was forwarded to the finance department and their response was awaited.

Source : The Asian Age

Mumbai | Increased RTE reimbursement is still insufficient, say schools

MUMBAI: The state school education department has increased the compensation to schools for admitting students from economically weaker sections to the 25% reserved seats under the Right to Education (RTE) quota.

In a notification dated May 30, the state government increased the reimbursement amount to be given to schools by around Rs2,000.

Earlier, schools were being paid Rs14, 621 per child during academic year 2013-14 and Rs12,315 per child during academic year 2012-13.

The compensation for academic year 2015-16 has been raised to Rs17,321 per child. This proposal has been sent to the Centre for its nod. Schools will be reimbursed this amount or their tuition fees, whichever is less. The amount will keep increasing every year, said officials.

Schools, however, have said that the compensation amount is not sufficient and will not cover their expenses. “Besides tuition fees, we also provide several facilities and infrastructure to the students. The amount fixed by the government will barely meet our expenses,” said Amol Dhamdhere, vice-president, Indian Education Society Group of Schools.

Some schools are also upset because the notification does not mention any reimbursement for admitting students to the pre-primary section. The Bombay high court had ordered the government to reimburse schools for admitting students to the pre-primary section.

“In the past three years, we have admitted 1,000 students to seats reserved under the RTE quota and have nearly 323 vacant seats reserved in the pre-primary section,” said a representative of Goenka and Associates Educational Trust that runs schools in Goregaon and Thane. “Our fees are nearly Rs3,000 per month, but we have still not been reimbursed fully.”

Source : Hindustan Times

Kolhapur | RTE admission: Extension ends on Monday amid poor response

KOLHAPUR: The fourth extension to the Right to Education (RTE) 25% admission quota by the district primary education department will come to an end on Monday, May 23 amid poor response. The department earlier had extended the deadline to May 23 from earlier May 16, after receiving the poor response to the admission process.

According to the officials the number has not improved much even after the extension.

The department was forced to extend the process after it received few registrations; 339 to be specific, for over 3,000 seats in 288 schools.

 An official from the department said that the admission procedure has been organised through online mode for the very first time, and it is likely that it had an impact on the number of registrations.
 It has to be noted that last year, with more than 40% RTE seats remaining in vacant position in the district, the admission process had to be extended to the month of September, after the poor response in the district.
Under the RTE act, economically and socially disadvantaged children, as well as those with disabilities, can be admitted in Class I or at the pre-primary stage, of private unaided and aided schools.

Nagpur | Glitch in RTE debars many from schools, others get multiple choices

Nagpur: The so-called-efficient free school admissions under the Right To Education (RTE) has proved to be faulty. The very-on-line system has so many lacunae which many unscrupulous parents have used to ensure that their children get admissions.

The education department declared the lottery results for free school admissions under the Right To Education (RTE) quota on May 19, 2016 (within 24 hours of holding the draw).

However the entire system seems to be faulty alleged many parents. Many parents were disappointed when they realized that their applications have been rejected.

Some really very poor people including Cobblers, Bhel Puri Vendors, Vegetable Vendors too wanted their children to study in good schools. Alas, their dreams have been shattered due to the faulty system.

How is the system faulty?
On a sheer curiosity some of the parents of the children who were rejected admissions under RTE wanted to find out who have got admissions, got a shock of their life when they realized that many parents have bypassed the system and utilized the lacunae in the system and had alleged registered for admissions in as many as 6 schools. Fortunately for these unscrupulous parents, their wards or children have got admissions in 6 schools, while some children have been denied admission even in one school.

When Nagpur Today downloaded the list (which runs into 127 pages), it came to fore how many children have been given admissions into two schools, four schools and some children have even been given admissions in 6 schools. Almost all the pages have at least two or three students who have been given admissions in two or more schools.

Well one must be wondering how these students got admissions in more than one schools. The unscrupulous parents registered their wards for Admission under RTE using four different mobile numbers (probably belonging to their friends). This way they registered using four different IPs. While speaking to Nagpur Today, the owner of a Net Café owner said that some parents came with three rent-agreements printed on stamp-papers showing different addresses of their friends and then went on to register for the on-line Admissions under RTE. Surprisingly all the four applications got accepted and even more surprising is the fact that the child got admitted in four different schools.

Fault in the system
Technically, making the system fool-proof was the responsibility of the authorities. The authorities should have made a system which does not accept the same names of students with the same parents’ name and the same address. Any duplication should have automatically disqualified the students. This would have prevented unscrupulous parents from succeeding in getting admissions in many schools when some genuine parents tried only one school being rejected.

While speaking to some media personnel, Co-ordinator for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA) Premchand Raut had said that the lottery results have come and parents have been intimated through SMS on their registered mobile numbers. The admission process for selected applicants is slated to start today, i.e. on May 20, 2016. All the admission formalities have to be completed between May 19, 2016 to May 28, 2016. Parents need to ensure that all documents are in order and have to submit them to the school accordingly. He added that parents must carry originals of the documents they had submitted during application process. It is important that both documents must absolutely be the same, otherwise the applications will not be accepted said an official.

The official also said that the Schools will verify address proof very carefully as location of school with respect to the applicant’s residence is the most crucial parameter. Rules say applicants must select schools between 1-3km radius from their residence. While applying online, the applicant has to pinpoint his residential address of Google Map after which the software throws up names of eligible schools. Since mapping is done completely based on applicants’ input, it is vital to cross check address proof.

Source : Nagpur today
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Kolhapur | RTE admission gets fourth extension in a month

Kolhapur: With no takers for the Right to Education (RTE) 25% admission quota, the district primary education department has extended the deadline further to May 23 from the earlier May 16. This is the department’s fourth extension over the past 30 days.

The department has seen registration of a meagre 339 applications for over 3,000 seats in 288 schools in the last month.

An official from the district primary education department said that schools were asked to fill in all details about their class strength and their entry level point in March. Schools had the power to decide as to whether their entry point would be at the class I or pre-primary level. The next step was applications by the parents, however this was hit hard by technical snags.

“The process has witnessed many halts due to technical difficulties over the past two months. Since the admission procedure is online for the very first time, this had quite an impact on the number of registrations,” an official said.

 The official added that filling the admission form was a requirement to participate in the lottery, which was the next step in the admission process. However, there are hardly any applications opting for the lottery option.
Last year, with over 40% RTE seats vacant across the district, the admission process had to be extended to September, after the poor response in the district.
 Under the RTE Act, economically and socially disadvantaged children, as well as those with disabilities, can be admitted in class I or at the pre-primary stage, of private unaided and aided schools.

Nagpur | RTE admission lottery results out within 24 hrs

Nagpur: In a surprisingly efficient move, the education department declared lottery results for free school admissions under the Right To Education (RTE) quota within 24 hours of holding the draw. Premchand Raut, coordinator for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA), said, “Lottery results have come and parents have been intimated through SMS on their registered mobile numbers.”

The admission process for selected applicants will start on Thursday. Raut said, “Between May 19-28 all admission formalities have to be completed. Parents need to ensure that all documents are in order and have to submit them to the school accordingly.” He added that parents must carry originals of the documents they had submitted during application process. “It is important that both documents must absolutely be the same, otherwise they won’t be accepted,” said Raut.

Schools will verify address proof very carefully as location of school with respect to the applicant’s residence is the most crucial parameter. Rules say applicants must select schools between 1-3km radius from their residence. While applying online, the applicant has to pinpoint his residential address of Google Map after which the software throws up names of eligible schools. Since mapping is done completely based on applicants’ input, it is vital to cross check address proof.

Shahid Sharif, chairman of NGO RTE Action Committee said, “Also parents have to ensure that messages from education department do not bounce. Usually, this happens if there is no space available on the phone and parents may miss out on the intimation from department. I have had cases today wherein only two SMS have come even though parent had applied at three schools. So, there are these technical issues that need to be sorted out.”

Contrary to public perception, the highest number of applications were received for a state board school, Prerna Convent. MLC NG Ganar (teachers constituency) said, “It’s a good school near Reshimbagh and more ever, I am proud that it’s our state board school. If schools maintain quality then applicants will definitely flock there for admissions.”

Sharif felt that this is healthy sign. “People are looking at a variety of factors. The high number of applications for state board schools gives a clear indication on the changing view point of parents,” said Sharif.

Source : The Times of India

Nagpur | RTE lottery’s phase-1 complete, final results by next week

Nagpur: Within a week, fate of almost 14,000 applicants for free seats in school under Right To Education (RTE) quota will be decided. On Tuesday, the education department completed the first phase of RTE lottery draw by choosing numbers to fill up the “number grid”, which the software uses to compute the lottery results.

By next week, the final results will be declared and conveyed to the parents via SMSon their registered mobile numbers.

NG Ganar, MLC (teachers constituency), took out the first of the 40 digits needed to fill the grid and said he hoped that the entire process will be satisfactory.

“I am extremely happy with the way the entire process has been handled so far. The lottery is done through a software which uses the same logic as the Maharashtra State Lottery. I just wish that right till the end, everything works out smoothly and our children find a place to study,” said Ganar.

Premchand Raut, district coordinator for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA) and who oversaw the RTE application process, said, “It has been a smooth process all along and now we will just wait for the results to be declared. I am grateful for the cooperation which every stakeholder extended to make this process a success.”

Shahid Sharif, founder of the NGO RTE Action Committee, said, “No doubt that so far the process has been a success and we will always want it to improve more for the benefit of students. But as we see that the number of applications is more than double the available seats. What happens with these kids? They are denied the right to have quality education just because of capacity limitations. Hence, the government overall has to figure out a way to do some capacity-building and ensure that more and more underprivileged kids get a chance.”

Archana Mirge, a parent, said, “Education officials were very helpful and explained to us everything. Before the draw of lots started, they explained to us what will happen and why chits are being picked to fill the number grid. I am convinced that there is a lot of transparency in the system due to which the lottery results will also be fair.”

Rakesh Patil, another parent, said, “I have two kids and did registration for both. The whole process was very transparent, but I did see that some parents had some queries about how the matrix system works for draw. The officials, however, tried to explain everything to parents.”

Source : The Times of India

Nashik | RTE admission deadline pushed

Nashik: The civic education department has extended the deadline for schools to admit students under the 25% reservation under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, from May 15 to May 20.

Till now only 660 admissions have been given under RTE under which more than 5,000 seats are available.

Out of the 660 admissions, 328 are from the city. The number of seats in the city schools is 2176 but not even 50% of the seats were filled by the schools due to various reasons pertaining to documentation and also preferences of schools by parents.

“We extended the deadline for giving admission to the students as the seats are yet to be filled. We want a maximum number of beneficiaries to be admitted under RTE,” said administrative officer of Nashik Municipal Corporation’s education department, Umesh Dongre.

He said that schools were giving admissions but some mistakes made by the parents while filling up the forms were causing trouble, and in some cases parents were waiting to get the school of their choice.
 “Everyone wants the school to be close to their homes. We extended the deadline for ensuring that every child gets admission. After May 20, we will see how many seats remain vacant,” said Dongre.
The principal of a reputed school said that they were verifying the documents of that parents had submitted and there were mistakes in many cases.
“We have to check everything thoroughly including the address, income and other certificates. We had faced lot of issues with these details last year and if we do not give admission the sympathy goes to the parents automatically. Notices are sent to us and we have to give explanations to the education department,” said the principal.

Nagpur | RTE lottery process gets underway today

Nagpur: The long winding road for applicants seeking free admissions under the Right To Education (RTE) Act quota is finally over. On Tuesday, the education department will start the first (of two) step involved in the online RTE lottery .

The RTE lottery software uses a unique algorithm that gets its initial starting grid by numbers chosen by students. This is the first step that will be completed on Tuesday itself in a public function. The lottery grids are filled by randomly selected number, a process in which the public too participates. As in the previous years, the practice is to place four separate bowls filled with paper chits containing numbers. Children from the audience are called to choose the chits and read out the numbers. The numbers are verified by authorities and then entered into the grid. This entire process is videotaped to ensure complete transparency.

Once the grid is complete it is displayed on a large screen and the people are asked to click a picture, if they want it, of the screen. These grid numbers will then be sent to education department headquarters at Pune where it will be fed into the lottery software. The second step is the conduct of lottery itself and is likely to be done within a week. Selected parents get a SMS on their registered mobile numbers informing them of their child’s admission status.

Premchand Raut, coordinator of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) in Nagpur district said, “Everything is on track for the RTE lottery process and we have weeded out all duplicate entries. Due to this, the final tally of applicants has dropped to 13,640.” TOI had reported about the issue of duplicate and even triplicate form submissions done by over 300 parents, in a futile attempt to cheat the online lottery system. Since the software allows only one form to be submitted per registered mobile number, some parents used different numbers to beat the system. However the second level of verification, that happened in Pune, detected the fraud. This delayed the lottery process by three days in which the education department weeded out the extra forms.

Source : The Times of India

Nagpur | Double form submissions put RTE lottery on hold

Nagpur: Some unscrupulous parents trying to gain unfair advantage in lottery for admissions under free quota of Right To Education (RTE) Act quota, by submitting their child’s name more than once, have now held the entire process to ransom. The education department has found that around 300 forms submitted online in Nagpur district are ‘double and even tripple entries’, something which is not allowed. Officials say submitting forms more than once is a deliberate act, since the online software allows only one mobile number to be registered per application.
Anil Pardhi, deputy director of education (Nagpur division) said, “We were informed by the Pune office about this problem, and it is extremely unfortunate that some people have resorted to these tactics. Now the process of weeding out these forms will begin but we will give benefit of doubt to everyone and help them correct this error.” Pardhi’s department has now given such parents till Friday to inform the education office which one of their applications form they would want to be kept in the lottery pool. A media statement issued by the Nagpur District Education Office (Primary) said that if parents do not approach education officials, then only the last form submitted by them will be deemed as valid.
This 48-hour delay in the lottery process will not amount to much the scheme of things as the department is ready with all other data. Since entire application process this year was online there is no requirement of manual entry, as was the case earlier. But this ‘double entry’ submissions has now raised another issue which will have to be tackled at the software development level itself.
An education officer said, “Some parents probably think that submitting the form more than once increases the chances of their child getting admission. But just submitting the form is not the end of the process, scrutiny does happen before the lottery is done.”
Shahid Sharif, chairman of NGO RTE Action Committee said, “The plan was to conduct the lottery before the weekend, but now that it impossible. I hope that no further issues come and that admission process starts on time.”

Source : The Times of India