Pune | Activists complain RTE admissions not on right track

Pune: Yet another delay in effecting the Right to Education (RTE) admissions for 25% reserved seats has made the activists wary of the outcome this season which begins in June.

 The education department, on its part, claimed the admission procedure would be carried out smoothly.

 Activists say the lottery, which is to be held in March, will be too late for children belonging to the disadvantaged category to get admission in schools because there is a possibility their name does not come up in the lucky draw. Many unaided schools end the admissions to remaining 75% seats by March. The activists have sought strict punishment for school managements that refuse to fulfill RTE admissions.
“Most reputed unaided schools in the city will complete their admission process by the end of this month. Many parents are in a dilemma. They don’t know if they should seek admission by regular mode or should they wait for the admissions through RTE’s online procedure to start. The problem is that if the parents wait for the RTE procedure to get over, it is possible their ward’s name may not come up in the draw. In that case, the child stands to miss out on one academic year. But the parents also cannot take admissions now because non-refundable fee for the year has to be paid up front in many schools,” said Mukund Kirdat, an RTE activist.
Activists have also sought grievance redressal systems at ward level so that parents do not have to go to zilla parishad or the municipal corporation’s education department for addressing their grievances. Accepting their demand, Ramchandra Jadhav, deputy director Pune division, said, “We have decided to make the assistant administrative officer in every ward the grievance redressal officer. He or she will be given three days time to look into the complaint and come up with a solution. If the assistant administrative officer is unable to do so, he will have to report it to the education officer at the Zilla Parishad or the corporation. Parents should approach the deputy director office only if both these officials fail to solve their problem. Parents should use the toll free education helpline number 18002331899.”

Nagpur | Process for RTE admissions in schools under 25% quota announced

Nagpur: The Maharashtra Education Department has announced the schedule as well as norms for admissions to schools under 25 percent quota as part of Right To Education Act (RTE) for the next academic session across the State. The process for admissions will commence from February 29 in Nagpur Division. The Government, faced with the numerous problems in the process for both online and offline admissions, has come up with proper stage-wise planning to ensure proper compliance this time.

Now, the RTE admission process will be in three steps. First will be registration of schools in the online database being managed by National Informatics Centre (NIC), a government body, which will start on February 29. Schools will have to fill all details about their class strength and their entry point. Schools’ entry point can either be Standard-I or pre-primary, this has been left up to the schools to decide. However, so far, there has been no official commitment from the State Government on whether or not they will reimburse fees for pre-primary admissions. As of now, the government will only reimburse schools for all RTE quota admissions they give from Standard-I to Standard-VIII. The reimbursement amount will be decided solely by the government, which was last year just over Rs13,000 per annum.

The second phase, starting March 11, will be where parents fill up admission forms. The system will chose the closest school according to the address entered by parents and location tracking using Google Maps. Parents can give options so the next available seat can be secured. Filling the admission form does not guarantee a seat in schools, it is merely a requirement to participate in the lottery. The lottery is the only way through which admissions can be secured in schools. The third phase will be of the admission lottery itself, which will be held on April 1.

Following is the programme:
• Schools have to get registered from February 29 to March 9.
• Parents have to submit applications for admissions from March 11 to 28.
• Key Tools Admissions:
i) The one-time passward will get generated on mobile phones through which information regarding lottery will be furnished. A permanent mobile phone number is must for parents.
ii) Parents having annual income below Rs 1 lakh are eligible for admissions under RTI. Income certificate issued by Tehsil Office will have to be produced.
iii) The age of children for admissions to Standard-I should be five years on July 31, 2016.
iv) Documents required are domicile certificate, Aadhar card, ration card, election ID, passport, rent agreement of three years for parents staying in rented houses.
v) Birth certificate of children and two photos of passport size.
vi) Website is: www.rte25admission.maharashtra.gov.in

Source: Nagpur Today

Mumbai | Now, confirm RTE quota seats by Feb 2

MUMBAI: The deadline to confirm seats under the Right to Education Act has been extended to Tuesday (Feb 2) from the earlier deadline of Friday.

This is because only 56 admissions had been confirmed until Friday though at least 1,293 students had been allotted seats at various unaided non-minority schools in the city through a lottery on January 20.

Officials attributed the low number to schools refusing admission to students. “Schools have said they cannot admit students at the last moment,” said deputy civic education officer Prakash Charate.

Of 56 admissions, 53 were in state board schools while three were in non-state board schools.

Non-state board schools had not admitted class I students as their academic year has ended.

Trustee of Goenka Educational Institutes in Goregaon, Sunita Goenka, said they admitted all allotted in pre-primary.

Source: The Times of India

Mumbai | RTE admissions: 1,293 students get school seats in second round

The second round of entry-level admissions to Mumbai schools under the Right to Education (RTE) Act was conducted in Pune on Wednesday. Of the total 4,076 applications, 1,293 applications were allotted seats in this phase. These seats are from the 25% reserved for students from economically weaker families.

“Students can start approaching schools and confirm their admissions,” said an official from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) education department.

1,558 children were admitted in the first round which began before the start of the 2015-16 academic year and concluded only last month. The admissions then ran into a series of petitions at the Bombay high court before the court finally ordered the started government to clear the pending admissions from the first round and conduct another round and allot seats to all children.

The delay in admissions this year has been criticised by activists as there are just two months left for the current academic year to end. To avoid such a delay, BMC has asked the state government to start online admissions to the seats for the coming academic year, 2016-17, from January 2016 itself. The government has decided not to have a third round because of the delay.

 

RTE online admission status (In September 2015 during the first round)

11,000: Number of seats available under RTE quota

Close to 4,000 applications were received in first round

2,500 students secured admissions in this round, but not all students claimed the seats.

When did the current process start?

 February 27 to March 23, 2015

Applications for first round of online RTE admissions began. Schools were allotted students in pre-primary and Class 1 under the two-layer entry system

April 31

The government exempted schools from admitting students in pre-primary. Class 1 is made the official entry-level for admissions under the RTE quota

May 8

The Bombay high court (HC) issues a status quo on the decision to exempt pre-primary level for admissions under the RTE quota

July 16

HC orders admissions to restart. State government cancels the April 31 decision

August 15

HC upholds the state government’s government resolution (GR) backing dual entry-levels for seeking admissions under the RTE quota

What the RTE Act states

According to the RTE Act, 2009, unaided non-minority schools have to admit 25% students from economically weaker sections, who seek admission at the entry-level and to Class 1. The schools cannot charge these students fees. The fees of these students will be reimbursed to the schools by the state government.

Source: Hindustan Times

Pune | Nod for next year’s admission under RTE25

Even as the chaos over this year’s admissions for students from economically weaker sections under the 25 per cent quota mandated by the Right to Education Act isn’t over yet, work for next year’s admission process has already begun, leading to confusion among parents and education activists.
One term of the current academic year has ended but thousands of children from Pune city who had applied for admissions are yet to get a seat even after the completion of Round I of admissions.
According to figures obtained from the education directorate, of the 4,139 applications that had been received, 3,046 students were alloted schools, which means that over 1,100 students were eligible for Round II admissions in Std I.
Similarly, as against 6,693 applications received for pre-primary admissions, only 3,275 were given admissions.
While education officers say that they are yet to receive clear instructions on the process for Round II of RTE admissions for this academic year, Mahavir Mane, director of primary education, has declared that the process for RTE admissions will begin by December-end. “The process will begin early to avoid hassles and delay for the next academic year,” he said.
However, education officials are non-committal on Round II of RTE admissions in the city. In fact, across the state, Round II of admissions have been conducted only in Jalgaon, Nashik, Amravati, Panvel and Ahmednagar. Dinkar Temkar, deputy director of primary education, said that they are hoping to finish off the process before December-end.
“Actually, many of the students who had been refused admissions by schools that were initially alloted to them, were given alternate schools. Data regarding students’ admissions need to be updated in the online system since all these admissions related data are generated there. The information has not been completely updated which is why we don’t have a complete data of Round I, and hence, it is taking longer for Round II admissions. However, within the next few days, we are hoping the process will be complete,” Temkar said.
Meanwhile, both parents and education activists are up in arms over the entire chaos. For Kamana Vasahat resident Pintu Shirsat though, there is no point in the next round of admissions. His three-year-old son Vidnyesh had been given the option of three schools for admissions but wasn’t given admission in either.
“Now he is going to a private school and I don’t want to remove him mid-year. At least, they should ensure that next year’s process is done properly,” Shirsat said.
However, education activist Mukund Kirdat who met Mane in this regard said it was important to ensure that the pending Std I admissions were done with. “Next year, schools will not give Std I admissions in Std II and these seats will lapse. Schools should not be allowed to take advantage of the situation which will lead to a loss for parents,” he said.

Source: Indian Express

Maharashtra | Vacant RTE seats to go to general category students?

State education department is working on a system where schools will have a free hand to convert unclaimed seats under the RTE quota into general category; parents, activists upset with decision
Schools that have expressed their displeasure at being forced to leave unclaimed seats under the Right to Education (RTE) quota vacant, may soon get a breather. The state education department is currently working on a new method to address the issue.
Under this method, after a certain period since the start of the admissions process, if seats under the RTE quota are still unclaimed, then schools will have a free hand to convert the seats into general category. Schools can keep these seats open for admissions. State education minister Vinod Tawde has confirmed this move.
“This clause was implemented under RTE to make sure that schools don’t play games and ignore giving admissions to children from the economically and socially backward sections of society.
But now that the RTE admissions are conducted online by the education department, there’s no chance of schools not giving admissions to students in need,” said Tawde. He added that leaving seats vacant in schools due to fewer applications will not serve the purpose of providing education to all.
Activists fight back
While the education department is yet to release a government resolution (GR) in this regard, Tawde added that discussions are almost done and this clause will soon be applicable. However, the decision has not gone down well with activists and parents who are still protesting against the education department’s lax attitude towards RTE admissions.
“This is ridiculous. They are giving more reasons for schools to not admit students under the RTE quota. If this is what they end up doing, then no child from the economically or socially backward sections of society will find seats in private schools,” said Sudhir Paranjape from the Anudanit Shiksha Bachao Samiti (ASBS), an activist body.
He added that the May 2014 circular by the education department mentions the need for these seats to remain vacant so that schools don’t knowingly ignore applications of those in need. Over the last two years, the RTE admissions for Mumbai schools have been conducted through an online process and both times, the process has been marred by problems.
Last year, over 300 schools did not receive a single application through the online process and were unhappy about being forced to leave their seats vacant. “We have 15 seats that fall under the RTE quota and last year we got 12 applications only, so three were left vacant.
This year again five seats will go vacant. It’s a huge loss to the school, but we are following rules nonetheless,” said Kavita Sanghvi, principal of MET Rishikul Vidyalaya, Bandra (West). Activists were also unhappy about this decision since RTE admissions for the past two years have not yielded good results.
“Seats can be considered permanently vacant only once the admissions process for RTE seats are over, but for the past two years the state government has not managed to complete the process.
How are schools being given a free hand at this?” asked Paranjape. He added that with the education department not initiating action against defaulting schools, parents and activists have decided to go on a hunger strike on November 6.

– See more at: Midday

Maharashtra | After 3 years, schools finally get RTE reimbursements in Nagpur

After an agonizing wait which lasted three years, schools in Nagpur district finally got reimbursed for the free admissions they gave under the 25% quota of Right To Education (RTE) Act. Till Tuesday afternoon the education department had deposited money into the accounts of 188 schools from the district.

Anil Kohle, primary education officer and RTE in-charge said, “We have reimbursed Rs1.82 crore so far to these schools. There are still around 50 schools remaining, in rural areas, but those too will be completed by next week. Our department had cleared the payment formalities on Saturday itself but the month ending causes delays in transfer to schools’ account.”

While schools heaved a sigh of relief on finally seeing the money for which they had submitted bills in winter of 2012, but there was resentment brewing. The issue on hand was that the state government has cleared money only for financial years 2012-13 and 2013-14. To make it worse, the money reimbursed amounts to only 66% of the bill submitted by schools.

Nana Satpute, who heads Nagpur district wing of Maharashtra English School Trustees Association (MESTA), said, “They are paying us the money sent by central government and have withheld their share. So effectively we not only get our dues three years late but also are shortchanged in it. This delay is unacceptable considering we have been following all the norms. Our demand is very simple. The education department must follow the rules and regulations in the same spirit it expects us to. They always tell us that we must follow RTE norms else they will scrap our recognition or take action against us. So when the education department falters on their side of the bargain there should be accountability as well.”

Atmesh Sinha, trustee of the society which manages The Pride School at Hingna, said, “It’s OK that we got some money but it is highly delayed. We have been submitting bills again and again so there is still no clarity among officials on how this is to be taken forward.”

There were many other schools who were unhappy but chose not to speak openly about their frustration with the system. “It’s almost like the government wants us to shut down. We have been operating without 25% revenues for last three years and every school owner will tell you that about 5% of students pay heavily discounted fee, or don’t pay at all, as they come through influential politicians, government officials or local goons. And the remaining 70% who bear the expenses for all and even there we can increase fee hardly up to 15% per annum. Inflation, the real one, is compounding in double digits and we are going into loss each year,” said a school owner.

Schools hope that their pending problems will get solved once they have a discussion straightaway with chief minister Devendra Fadvanis later this month. Satpute said, “On November 28 we are organizing a state-level MESTA meet in Nagpur and the CM will also be attending as chief guest. We hope that he will address the issue and take concrete decisions.”

IN A NUTSHELL: DELAYED PAYMENT

Schools gave admissions for free admission to students who qualified under the criteria laid down by RTE

RTE made it mandatory for every school to reserve 25% of their seats for such students

The particular rule is not applicable to minority schools

The first admission in Maharashtra happened in Nagpur’s South Point School in 2012

Though all schools have been submitting their RTE bills on time since 2012, the government however kept delaying payments

Finally 188 schools in district received Rs1.82 crore as the first instalment

This payment is for financial years 2012-13 and 2013-14

It amounts to only 66% of the total bill submitted

Source: Times of India

Nagpur | After 3 years, schools finally get RTE reimbursements

Nagpur: After an agonizing wait which lasted three years, schools in Nagpur district finally got reimbursed for the free admissions they gave under the 25% quota of Right To Education (RTE) Act. Till Tuesday afternoon the education department had deposited money into the accounts of 188 schools from the district.

Anil Kohle, primary education officer and RTE in-charge said, “We have reimbursed Rs1.82 crore so far to these schools. There are still around 50 schools remaining, in rural areas, but those too will be completed by next week. Our department had cleared the payment formalities on Saturday itself but the month ending causes delays in transfer to schools’ account.”

While schools heaved a sigh of relief on finally seeing the money for which they had submitted bills in winter of 2012, but there was resentment brewing. The issue on hand was that the state government has cleared money only for financial years 2012-13 and 2013-14. To make it worse, the money reimbursed amounts to only 66% of the bill submitted by schools.

Nana Satpute, who heads Nagpur district wing of Maharashtra English School Trustees Association (MESTA), said, “They are paying us the money sent by central government and have withheld their share. So effectively we not only get our dues three years late but also are shortchanged in it. This delay is unacceptable considering we have been following all the norms. Our demand is very simple. The education department must follow the rules and regulations in the same spirit it expects us to. They always tell us that we must follow RTE norms else they will scrap our recognition or take action against us. So when the education department falters on their side of the bargain there should be accountability as well.”

Atmesh Sinha, trustee of the society which manages The Pride School at Hingna, said, “It’s OK that we got some money but it is highly delayed. We have been submitting bills again and again so there is still no clarity among officials on how this is to be taken forward.”

There were many other schools who were unhappy but chose not to speak openly about their frustration with the system. “It’s almost like the government wants us to shut down. We have been operating without 25% revenues for last three years and every school owner will tell you that about 5% of students pay heavily discounted fee, or don’t pay at all, as they come through influential politicians, government officials or local goons. And the remaining 70% who bear the expenses for all and even there we can increase fee hardly up to 15% per annum. Inflation, the real one, is compounding in double digits and we are going into loss each year,” said a school owner.

Schools hope that their pending problems will get solved once they have a discussion straightaway with chief minister Devendra Fadvanis later this month. Satpute said, “On November 28 we are organizing a state-level MESTA meet in Nagpur and the CM will also be attending as chief guest. We hope that he will address the issue and take concrete decisions.”

IN A NUTSHELL: DELAYED PAYMENT

Schools gave admissions for free admission to students who qualified under the criteria laid down by RTE

RTE made it mandatory for every school to reserve 25% of their seats for such students

The particular rule is not applicable to minority schools

The first admission in Maharashtra happened in Nagpur’s South Point School in 2012

Though all schools have been submitting their RTE bills on time since 2012, the government however kept delaying payments

Finally 188 schools in district received Rs1.82 crore as the first instalment

This payment is for financial years 2012-13 and 2013-14

It amounts to only 66% of the total bill submitted

Source: The Times of India

Mumbai | Vacant RTE seats to go to general category students

Mumbai: Schools that have expressed their displeasure at being forced to leave unclaimed seats under the Right to Education (RTE) quota vacant, may soon get a breather. The state education department is currently working on a new method to address the issue.

Under this method, after a certain period since the start of the admissions process, if seats under the RTE quota are still unclaimed, then schools will have a free hand to convert the seats into general category. Schools can keep these seats open for admissions. State education minister Vinod Tawde has confirmed this move.

“This clause was implemented under RTE to make sure that schools don’t play games and ignore giving admissions to children from the economically and socially backward sections of society.
But now that the RTE admissions are conducted online by the education department, there’s no chance of schools not giving admissions to students in need,” said Tawde. He added that leaving seats vacant in schools due to fewer applications will not serve the purpose of providing education to all.

Activists fight back

While the education department is yet to release a government resolution (GR) in this regard, Tawde added that discussions are almost done and this clause will soon be applicable. However, the decision has not gone down well with activists and parents who are still protesting against the education department’s lax attitude towards RTE admissions.

“This is ridiculous. They are giving more reasons for schools to not admit students under the RTE quota. If this is what they end up doing, then no child from the economically or socially backward sections of society will find seats in private schools,” said Sudhir Paranjape from the Anudanit Shiksha Bachao Samiti (ASBS), an activist body.

He added that the May 2014 circular by the education department mentions the need for these seats to remain vacant so that schools don’t knowingly ignore applications of those in need. Over the last two years, the RTE admissions for Mumbai schools have been conducted through an online process and both times, the process has been marred by problems.

Last year, over 300 schools did not receive a single application through the online process and were unhappy about being forced to leave their seats vacant. “We have 15 seats that fall under the RTE quota and last year we got 12 applications only, so three were left vacant.

This year again five seats will go vacant. It’s a huge loss to the school, but we are following rules nonetheless,” said Kavita Sanghvi, principal of MET Rishikul Vidyalaya, Bandra (West). Activists were also unhappy about this decision since RTE admissions for the past two years have not yielded good results.

“Seats can be considered permanently vacant only once the admissions process for RTE seats are over, but for the past two years the state government has not managed to complete the process.

How are schools being given a free hand at this?” asked Paranjape. He added that with the education department not initiating action against defaulting schools, parents and activists have decided to go on a hunger strike on November 6.

Source: mid-day

Mumbai | For RTE, state releases 50% of 45 lakh sought

Mumbai: The state government has disbursed the first instalment of Rs 22 lakh meant to be disbursed to unaided, non-minority schools in Mumbai region for admitting students to the 25% seats reserved under the Right to Education Act, 2009.
These funds have been handed over to the civic education department for further disbursal to the schools for admissions of the previous academic year (2014-15).

An official from the civic education department said that they had demanded over Rs 45 lakh, but the office of the deputy director of education has received half of that as the first instalment.

For the current year, admissions are still incomplete even as the first term is set to close. Of 4,949 students allotted seats in the first round, 1,535 have secured admission.Until admissions of the first round are cleared, the second one cannot begin

Source: The Times of India