Mumbai | RTE centres reject income certificates of single moms

Parents continued to struggle with the submission of the Right to Education (RTE) online application for entry level admissions even on the fourth day of the first round on Monday. Apart from problems with the website, several help centres set up by the BMC refused to accept the income certificates of single mothers who are the sole breadwinners of their family.

One of the people to suffer was Bandra resident Rashida Ahmed, who has separated from her husband and earns a living by taking drawing classes for children. “I am the only earning member in the family and thus had an income certificate made in my name. But the centre head refused to take my documents and flatly told me that only my husband’s or father’s income certificate would work,” she said. Ahmed has visited the help centre multiple times to seek admission for her three-year-old son Ibrahim.

A similar problem was experienced by Anita Nuchulwar, a resident of Pratiksha Nagar, who has been living with her mother and is separated from her husband. She works as domestic help and went to the help centre in Matunga with the documents in her name but was turned away. “They told me that my documents wouldn’t work. If I am the only earner in the family then how can I produce documents in my husband’s name?” said Nuchulwar. She has been trying to get admission for her five-and-a-half year old son Aman for a couple of years now. “I want my child to study so that he wouldn’t turn out like me. I want him to lead a better life,” she said.

After the fourth day of the first round of admissions, out of 645 applications that have been submitted, only 85 have been verified. Stating that women’s income certificates can also be accepted, BMC’s education officer, Sambhavi Jogi, said, “I will inform the centres to accept documents from single mothers as well since the earning member can be a woman too,” she said.

Several parents who had received their allotment letters last year have yet again joined in the fray to confirm a seat in a school. Sameer Shaikh is one among several parents who were promised a seat last year and yet have started filling out a fresh application this year. Shaikh’s son Tayyab had been allotted a seat in Jankidevi School in Andheri last year. However, his seat didn’t get confirmed and the school does not figure in the list of RTE schools this year.

Source: Mumbai Mirror

Maharashtra | 1,904 RTE applications received online in Nagpur

Nagpur: Online applications for Right To Education (RTE) quota in city schools kicked off on Monday afternoon and, by 7pm, almost 2,000 applications were submitted. There were reports of some hiccups as slow internet connectivity meant that form submission time crept up to almost 45 minutes for some people. But considering the short notice on which the local education department worked on and their phase one fiasco with school registrations, Monday was a good day. Kishore Choudhary, district’s RTE in charge, said, “1,904 applications have been received online and the process has been smooth.”

Another 1,184 people have registered online but haven’t submitted their forms. The department had set up 25 support centres across the city to help with form submission but many of them saw only inquiries being made. Jaffar Khan, principal of Qidwai School, said, “We had people come to the school and ask about the formalities. I am sure they will return tomorrow to complete the online formalities.”

Deaven Dasture, director of South Point School, said, “Since the process started only after 1pm, the response was down. A lot of inquiries happened but no one submitted forms online. Maybe they did it from their homes of cyber cafe. However, on Tuesday, with centres starting in the morning itself, people may come.”

Choudhary said, “Forms are being filled both at centres and from other places. We are anticipating a bigger response in the days to come.” To handle the response better, the education department held a meeting with Nagpur Municipal Corporation and sought access to their infrastructure.

Choudhary added, “We have been promised the use of 100 NMC schools for setting up support centres. This will help us reach more and more people and the deserving candidates can reap benefits.” Use of NMC schools will certainly give the education department a wider reach as many schools are situated in remote localities.

Slow internet connectivity seems to be only reason for the delay in form submission. TOI helped a parent fill a form online and it took only 12 minutes to enter all details, locate residence on Google map, choose school for seeking admission, upload documents for verification and finally submit it online. After submission, a PDF file of the form is generated which has to be verified at the support centre. The staff at the support centre will check the authenticity of the documents and do an online verification.

Source: Times of India

Maharashtra | RTE admissions nosedive yet again

PUNE: The admission process for the 25% reserved seats under the Right to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act has failed to take off in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad for the second time in a fortnight. The admissions, which are to be conducted online in 10 cities across the state, were scheduled to begin on February 27. However, the failure of the Pune Municipal Corporation’s education board to announce the revised dates has led to a delay. “Schools that have to give admissions under the Act were asked to fill in the details on the RTE site. Till Friday, several schools had not provided the required information, leading to the delay. Once schools do the needful, online forms will be made available to parents,” said chief of PMC education board B K Dahiphale. “Schools have been asked to fill up the details and by Monday all the required information will be uploaded on the site. The new dates will be announced on Monday. We do not want to rush because we are skeptical about the admission process getting stuck in the later stages which may create problems for parents,” said Dahiphale. Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad and south Mumbai had gone online last year. This year, the online process will be implemented in Nashik, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Nagpur, Amravati, Latur and Mumbai’s metropolitan region comprising satellite towns of Thane, Kalyan Dombivli, Bhiwandi-Nizampur, Ulhasnagar, Mira-Bhayander and Navi Mumbai. The process will remain offline in the remaining parts of the state where parents will have to manually fill the forms and submit them to the education board. The regional directorate of education in each district will be appointed as the admission committee headed by the education department. Dahiphale said, “The committee officials will verify forms and documents submitted by parents once the deadline for submission is over. The day of draw will be announced within eight days of the verification process.” Parents can also fill up forms at home, if they have the facility and then submit the printout and required documents to the nearest help centre.

Source: Times of IndiaRTE admissions nosedive yet again

Maharashtra | As delays plague RTE registration, some schools drop out of online process

Confusion and dimming hope have marred the process of admissions to the 25 per cent reserved seats in schools under the Right to Education Act. While on one hand the admissions stand delayed owing to confusion, a number of schools are also dropping out of the RTE online process, thus reducing the available numbers.

While the registration process for schools started on February 16, the parents were supposed to start applying for admissions from February 23. The date was later deferred to February 25. However, there is still no clarity on when the process will begin, leaving parents in the lurch.

Of greater concern to them is that only 280 schools were registered this year, compared to 315 schools last year and 554 in 2013.

According to officials, in just the past year, 35 schools sought minority status which they were granted.

Many activists and parents allege that schools are using the minority status to evade RTE Act norms. According to an April 2012 SC order, unaided minority schools are exempt from reserving 25 per cent of their seats for children from the socially and economically weaker sections of the society. However, now that the number of schools expected to reserve 25 per cent seats is reduced, it will also cause the number of seats available under the RTE Act to drop drastically, BMC education inspector Shambhavi Jogi said.

“We will find out the total number of seats available for admission this year within a day and release it to the public for their benefit. All 24 of our admission centers are already functional and parents can approach for help,” she added.

However, parents are totally unaware of this development, and activists allege that there is not enough awareness created by the civic body on the available seats and admissions process. Parents and activists are also are upset that the government is approving minority status for schools even though this will shrink the number of seats available under the reservation. “Once again admissions are getting delayed and we dread that students will be left without seats, again. This is the failure of the civic body to implement RTE norms for three consecutive years now, what is the state government doing about it?” said K Narayan, from the NGO Anudanit Shiksha Bachao Samiti.

Many parents are also angry over negligible advertising about the RTE Act for the second year now.

Source: Indian Express

Maharashtra | Plans for RTE online admission Phase-II in Nagpur

Nagpur: For a good part of Friday afternoon, education officials were busy in a closed-door meeting to discuss strategy for online admissions under Right To Education (RTE) Act. The meeting was necessitated as the first phase of the process, online registration of private unaided schools in city, is still pending despite two extensions. However, the education department is confident of completing the online registrations by the new deadline of Sunday and has gone on to make plans for the second phase.

A source said, “Though we have 450 private unaided schools, the RTE is applicable to only around 330. The rest are minority schools but have been mandated to complete the registration online. We have completed over 250 schools already, so it is almost guaranteed that we will be able to finish this by the Sunday deadline.”

With their confidence back, the Friday meeting, headed by district’s primary education officer Kishore Choudhary, dwelled on the various issues that could crop up when the second phase kicks in. A source present in the meeting said, “In phase two, parents have to apply online and we are aware that because almost all of them will be from the lower economic strata, they won’t be internet savvy at all. Filling up a complicated admission form will certainly pose challenges. So, support centres will be set up in schools where the staff will help in filling the admission forms.”

So far, the department is eyeing to start 25 support centres but considering that 50,000 applications are expected, it may lead to mayhem. The source added, “We are trying to do the best from this situation and working within our means. We will be training the staff at schools to be able to handle the online applications.”

The problem for education department is the unreliability of internet connection and stability of servers to handle the load. Impatient parents and flaring tempers will certainly create a ruckus at support centres for RTE admissions. It will be challenging for the department to handle a bad situation created by issues beyond their control.

The source, said, “The system is fantastic, it just needs infrastructural support to function properly. Manpower is another issue but we cannot complain anywhere and have to make do with what we have. The media reports things and it stays in news for a couple of days and all is forgotten. So, in the end it is the employees who just have to get the things done.”

Source: Times of India

Maharashtra | Glitches on Day 1 of RTE admission

MUMBAI: Technical glitches marred the online admission form process for Right to Education (RTE) seats on Friday morning, first day of submission of the forms.

Parents, who tried to log on to the website in the morning, could see only three help centres although the BMC has set up over 26 such centres.

“Over 100 parents came to our office to fill up forms but help centres available on the website were in south Mumbai. People from Andheri, Dharavi, Goregaon cannot go all the way to verify documents,” said K Narayan, secretary of Anudanit Shiksha Bachao Samiti. “It’s a repeat of last year’s poor show.”

However, civic education officials said that the website was functional by afternoon. “There were technical problems in the morning but they were rectified and parents could fill up forms. By the end of the day, almost 35 forms were filled and most schools had completed registrations too,” said an official.

Online application will be open up to March 18.

Source: Times of India

Maharashtra | RTE admission process still not a smooth ride

Many schools were unwilling and website frozen till evening on Day-1 of form-filling

Admissions under Right to Education (RTE) are still not a smooth ride. Applicants faced a tough time during the online application process, which began on Friday after being postponed for three days. While the authorities claimed that the website began working only in the evening, the parents complained of it being nonfunctional.

Admissions for the 25 per cent reserved quota in schools for children coming from economically weaker sections under the Right to Education (RTE) Act were expected to begin on February 23. But, they were postponed for three days and parents were asked to begin applying on Friday. But, when parents logged in to begin the process, the website was found to be frozen.

Nilesh Borate, an activist helping parents during the admissions, said, “We have been trying to begin the process but the website is frozen. This is the second year of online process and still they are not thorough.”

Sonali Kunjir, another activist, added, “The parents who are applying are daily wage workers. They cannot afford to miss work like this and just wait for the website to functioning.”

Meanwhile, Dinkar Temkar, deputy director of the state primary education department, who is heading the RTE admission process, said, “The registration process took longer than expected which is why we had to postpone the starting day. However, on Friday, few schools were found not complying with the orders which took time. The issues were resolved by afternoon and soon the website began to function.”

The form filling under the RTE will continue till March 11.

Source: The Pune Mirror

Mumbai schools delay registration under RTE quota

While the registration of city schools for 25 per cent quota admissions under the Right to Education (RTE) Act began on Monday (February 16), most institutions were two days late and registered only on Wednesday, claimed BMC officials.

The admission process was started earlier this year to prevent a repeat of last year, when the admissions were delayed, much to the inconvenience of parents. The process of registration will go on till Saturday (February 21), so that schools have the time to fill up their details like age criteria for admission, entry level and number of seats available among others on the website. This process will help parents of prospective students find a school which is closest to their home when they later apply for admission online.

On Wednesday, a BMC education official claimed on condition of anonymity, “The website was not starting in the morning. But in the afternoon it was running smoothly. The registration started on February 16, but most schools registered today (Wednesday). Schools should register on time so that there is no last-minute rush that could lead to the website crashing and causing further problems.”

“There is enough of time for schools to do their registration and since this time the centralgovernment has recommended an organization like the National Informatics Centre (NIC) to handle process, we believe it will take place more smoothly this year,” she added.

The filling of online admission forms under the RTE quota starts on February 23 and ends on March 7.

All schools except minority unaided institutions have to take in students under the RTE quota.

Maharashtra | RTE registration deadline for schools in Nagpur extended, again!

NAGPUR: The word ‘deadline’ probably means something totally different to education department. For the second time in 10 days, the department has extended the deadline for schools to register for online admissions under Right To Education (RTE) Act. Kishore Choudhary, primary education officer, said, “March 1 is the new deadline for schools and we will ensure everyone gets registered this time.” So far, only 267 out of approximately 450 schools have registered.

The first window for them to register was Feb 16-22. It was then extended to Feb 26. Due to pathetically slow registration process, the last date has been bumped up further. New deadline, too, looks unrealistic going by the last 10 days’ experience. On an average 26 schools have registered per day and now the education department has set itself a target of over 60 schools a day. Education officer Choudhary will hold an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss the details and chalk out a plan.

The local education department is not at all responsible for this fiasco. Technical problems at both the school and outsourced software vendor caused major hiccups leading to delays. Registrations that should ideally be done in 30 minutes are dragging on for three hours. An official said, “Schools have been calling us saying the page does not open, then it hangs and takes 15 minutes to come back to life. Pinpointing location on Google map is another headache.”

The decision to extend the deadline was taken over the other option – conduct partial offline admissions. A Pune-based education official, who is part of the team coordinating online admission registrations for entire state, said, “Complete compliance by all schools in mandatory. Admissions can happen only online so any other option is ruled out. Nagpur and Aurangabad are the worst performers. We understand technical issues are creating this mess.”

Premchand Raut is the local coordinator between schools and the department. “We are guiding them to make sure the job gets done. The task will be bigger when parents start online registration,” he said. Parents can start applying online from March 2 to 11 after which the process of lottery will be started. The online lottery system is being conducted only in urban areas and the plan is to extend it to all in the next couple of years.

Source: Times of India

Maharashtra | More than 80 schools in Kolhapur city to conduct RTE admissions online

KOLHAPUR: Over 80 private schools in the city will carry out their RTE quota admissions online this year. The online admission system will be restricted to private schools within the corporation’s jurisdiction only, said district primary education officer Smita Gaud. There are 69 government aided and 24 unaided private schools in the city.

Over 80 private schools from the city will organise the online admission system of Right to Education (RTE) 25% quota admissions this year. The directorate of primary education has confirmed that Kolhapur will be included in the online admission system this year.

Smita Gaud, district primary education officer, who earlier this month while speaking to TOI had expressed implementation of online RTE admission at the Kolhapur district, said that currently the admission system will be restricted for private schools within corporation limits only.

It has to be noted that the Kolhapur city has as many as 69 government aided private schools and 24 un-aided private schools.

An official from the Kolhapur Municipal Corporation’s (KMC) education department told TOI that a circular has been prepared and has been sent to the respective schools about the admission procedure. 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 receive free education, textbooks, and other facilities.

It has to be noted that the School Education Department had implemented Centralized Online admission process for RTE on an experimental procedure in Pune and Mumbai divisions, which was reported to be successful and the education department had planned to replicate the same model across the state from 2015-16 academic year.

In fact, S Chockalingam, the former education commissioner who has now been transferred to Pune as divisional commissioner, had said during his visit to Kolhapur last year that the admission process to primary school under 25% Right to Education (RTE) quota would be made online at all municipal corporations and that a simultaneous admission schedule will be launched across the state.

As of now schools run by government, local self-governing bodies or those private schools which receive salary and non-salary grant in aide from the government are bound by the statutory provision of reserving 52% of their total sanctioned intake. This includes seats for Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, Vimukta Jamati (denotified tribes), Notified Tribes, Other Backward Classes and special backward classes.

In the year 2013-14, more than 50% reserved RTE seats had remained vacant in the district, after which the Kolhapur ZP had asked the district schools to take a survey in one km radius of their school premises to identify any RTE beneficiaries. While in 2014-15 admission rate has improved slightly with district generating 55% admission rate through conventional admission system.

Source: Times of India