KOLHAPUR: Over 200 private schools from the district have registered online for the Right to Education (RTE) Act admission process this year. The application process for parents, who want to enroll their children under the Act, started from Friday and will end on March 30.
This year, the education department is carrying out the admissions in three steps. This is because of the numerous problems the department had earlier faced for both online and offline admissions. The department has come up with a proper stage-wise planning to ensure proper compliance this time round.
An education department official about the admission status said that under the first phase schools from the district had to register under the RTE Act. However, the official said that they are yet to get the final number of schools, which have registered from the district but considering every year’s experience there are more than 200 private schools in the district, which offer RTE admissions
An education department official on the admission status said that they are yet to get the final number of schools which have registered from the district. However, considering every year’s experience there are more than 200 private schools in the district, offering RTE admissions for the reserved quota.
Schools were asked to fill in details about their class strength and their entry point. The schools’ entry point can either be at the class I or pre-primary stage. This was left up to the schools to decide, the official said.
The official said that the second phase, which started from March 11, where the parents have to fill up admission forms. The system will choose the nearest school according to the address entered by parents as well as location tracking, using Google Maps.
The official said that filling the admission form is a formality to be able to participate in the lottery. The lottery is the only way through which admissions can be secured. The third phase will be of the admission itself and will be held between April 1 and April 5.
According to the official, workshops for the concerned authorities have been conducted over the past months.
Last year, more than 40% RTE seats were vacant position across the district. The Kolhapur zilla parishad had then asked the district schools to take a survey in a one-km radius of their school premises to identify any RTE beneficiaries. However, 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 minority aided schools. These children will receive free education including textbooks, among other facilities.
A recent report on the condition of the RTE Act revealed that different states across the country had vague norms about the implementation of Section 12(1)(c) of the Act. The section mandates 25% reservation for children from economically and socially disadvantaged strata in private and unaided non-minority schools. The report was jointly published by the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad and other agencies.
The report stated that a reason for low school participation is the delay in reimbursement to schools for admitting students under the Act.Some of the suggestions that experts provided so as to tackle the issue was to ensure reliable and timely disbursement of funds by streamlining processes, transferring funds on time to districts, reviewing manpower needs, and coordinating with bank officials to ensure that schools are reimbursed on time.
A report by the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad and other agencies found that states had unclear rules and guidelines to implement Section 12(1)(c) of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, which mandates 25% reservation for children from economically and socially disadvantaged sections in private unaided non-minority schools.
Ashish Dhawan, founder and chairman, Central Square Foundation, a philanthropy, said, “Awareness is still patchy, especially in rural areas. Once children enter the school system, the provision of supporting and child-tracking is almost non – existent.
One reason for low school participation is the delay in reimbursement to schools for admitting students under this provision, the report stated. Ensuring reliable and timely reimbursements by streamlining the processes, transferring funds on time to districts, reviewing manpower needs, and coordinating with bank officials to ensure that schools are reimbursed on time, are some other suggestions from experts.
What is redeeming is that this admission year has seen a slight improvement compared to the previous season, when 3.2 lakh seats filled out of 21.8 lakh available seats (14.66% fill rate) in 2013-14. Prof Ankur Sarin, faculty, Public Systems Group, Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad, said, “Across states like Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Karnataka, civil society played a critical role in improving implementation of the provision. They have done so by disseminating information and creating awareness about this policy among beneficiaries.”