Schools stop giving uniforms, books to RTE students

This follows DPI circular barring private schools from charging fee in any form from the students

A day after the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) issued a circular barring private schools from charging fee in any form from the students admitted under the Right to Education (RTE) Act quota, private school managements have decided not to distribute books and uniforms to students, even if parents are willing to pay for them.

This has put parents of students admitted under quota in a spot as textbooks used in several private schools are not available in the market. In a majority of the schools, uniforms are also distributed only through a particular vendor.

‘Being discriminated’

Lakshmi K., whose daughter got a seat for class one in a Basaveshwarnagar school here, said the school management had earlier asked her to pay Rs. 14,500 under various sub-heads. “I borrowed some money and collected Rs. 7,000 which is the money for books and uniforms. But now the school management says they will not give us uniform and books. My daughter is being discriminated against even before stepping inside the school,” she said.

Another parent, Rajeev B., said he paid Rs. 12,800 for books and uniform. “The government says we need not pay, but the schools say our seat will be cancelled if we don’t. So I decided to pay the entire amount. The amount is almost equivalent to an entire year’s school fee,” he said.

The department, in its circular issued on Thursday, quoted section 7 (2) of the Karnataka Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules 2012, which states that schools should not discriminate against children admitted under the quota in any manner with respect to entitlements and facilities such as textbooks, uniforms, library, ICT facility, co-curricular programme, and sports.

D. Shashi Kumar, general secretary of the Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka, said that all the 1,700 member-schools had been instructed not to distribute books and uniforms to students admitted under the quota.

‘All students have to pay’

“Majority of these schools distribute books and uniforms to all students and ask all of them to pay. The management cannot bear the cost and parents need to pay if they want these facilities. But with the circular issued on Thursday, private managements will be harassed as they will not be allowed to charge for books and uniforms. So we will admit students in our schools but not give them books and uniforms.”

Source : The Hindu

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.

Karnataka | RTE admissions: one more round of verification

The Education Department has instructed district-level committees across the State to conduct one more round of verification process to eliminate ineligible candidates, who have secured admissions to schools under the Right to Education Act.

The committees have already conducted the verification process and prepared a list of eligible candidates. However, the Education Department wants to further scrutinise the applications to make the selection process foolproof. After realising that there were possibilities of a some candidates on the eligibility list for reasons like more than one ward having the same pin code, the Education Department has instructed officials to ensure that only eligible candidates get seats under the RTE quota.

The department felt the need for this in the wake of recent orders passed by the High Court of Karnataka after a few candidates secured admissions under the RTE quota in a ward other than their ward of residence.

The Commissioner for Public Instruction has sent a circular to all the DDPIs in the State instructing them to conduct the post-selection verification process.

The Commissioner had stated in the circular that the verification of all RTE applications was made using the databases of Aadhaar, Electors’ Photo ID Cards (EPIC) and Nada Kacheri.

However, he further stated, as these databases are not tailor-made for RTE purposes, it is imperative to have a post-selection verification process to make the selection foolproof.

Students from disadvantaged groups, those who had submitted EPIC without pin codes as address proof, whose names were there in the first eligibility list and classified as ineligible the second time but considered to be included in lottery process, and those who applied in schools in wards other than their ward of residence would be subjected for post-selection verification.

 Source : The Hindu

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

Ahmedabad | RTE: Gujarat HC stays DEO’s order of slapping fine on school

Ahmedabad: Gujarat high court has temporarily stayed the Ahmedabad district education officer’s (DEO) order of slapping a fine of Rs4.60 lakh on Rachana School in Shahibaug for allegedly denying admission to 11 students under the 25% quota for the poor enlisted in the Right to Education Act (RTE).

 The HC has stayed DEO’s order till June 27, when further hearing would take place.
 The school authorities moved the HC after the penalty was imposed on the school last month. DEO also threatened to cancel the NOC given to the school for the CBSE affiliation.
For denying admission to 11 students under quota for poor kids, the school management stated that the parents of these students were not from poor background, but, from well-to-do families. The school authorities claimed that many of these students lived in bungalows and their household electricity bills ranged from Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000.
Last year, the High court had to intervene on the subject of free admission for poor students to class 1 in private schools under the RTE laws. It was in response to two PILs which stated that private schools were not granting admission to poor kids under the quota. It was alleged that the law was not followed by those schools, which were selected as model schools in the city to implement this welfare scheme.