Kolhapur | RTE admissions: Education dept extends deadline to September 28

kolhapur: The district primary education department has extended its deadline to September 28 to grant admissions to 25% under the Right to Education (RTE) quota this year. According to the district education officer Subhash Chougule, the decision was taken after the department received a lukewarm response to admissions under the quota this year.

Chougule said that the admission process was on halt earlier this year, which could have resulted in the low turnout to the RTE.

“The admission procedure was on halt from May to almost mid-July, because of the controversy of the entry point of the admission. After the July 15 order from Bombay High Court to continue admissions for the 25% Right to Education (RTE) quota from both the pre-primary and primary entry points, the deputy education director office of the region instructed that the the admission procedure be resumed,” he said, adding, that the extension of deadline for admissions might improve the statistics in the region.

While Sattapa Mohite, member of the city-based NGO Avani, said, “Since the admission period is already over, it will hardly make a big difference now. The administration needs to concentrate on how it can improve the admission status for the next academic year.”

Mohite added that the issues such as that of out-of-school kids needs to be given priority, as that issue can make a lot of difference.

“There are many kids who were not identified in the July 4 out-of-school kids survey or in the July 31 resurvey,” he said.

He added that the Avani is conducting their own survey for keeping a tab on the out-of-school kids and those children of brick kiln workers, children working as labourers on sugar cane farms and stone quarries and those of migrating families.

“We will be publishing our report about the survey in a few days,” Mohite said, adding that the Avani had managed to send back over 100 kids from the migrating families, back to schools.

The department had to extend the admission deadline to September end for RTE last year as well. But, the department achieved more than 60% of admissions under the RTE’s 25% admission quota for the 2014-15 academic year and this year it aimed at 80%, which seems impossible for this academic year.

Source: The Times of India

Pune | Parents to form union to fight for RTE admissions

Pune: Anticipating that the fight over the 25 per cent quota admissions under the Right to Education (RTE) Act isn’t over even if students get admissions and that individual complaints by parents aren’t yielding any results, a group of parents, along with Aam Aadmi Party volunteers and members of other NGOs working for RTE quota admissions, have called a meeting to discuss the formation of a union of parents to fight issues collectively.

Mukund Kirdat of AAP said the decision had been taken since it was noticed that a group had better negotiating power with schools or education board officials than an individual parent whose complaints weren’t even heard in isolation.

“Also, while the biggest issue for us at present is getting admissions for the children under RTE quota, the fight won’t stop here. Over the last two months, we have heard horror stories of how parents whose children were given admissions under RTE are being treated by schools. In most schools, parents are being asked to pay for stationery and uniforms, which is wrong. In other schools, children are discriminated against and made to sit separately from other general category students, which is a criminal act. In some cases, children were not allowed to sit in exams or report cards since schools didn’t get reimbursements from government. Wherever you see, it is clear that getting admissions under RTE quota is just the first step in a long struggle for parents. Hence, it is important that such parents come together and help each other through a common pool of knowledge and resources whenever they face any problem,” said Kirdat.

Another volunteer, Abhijit More, said now was the time to lend momentum to the plan to form a union since people come together and in contact with each other at the time of admissions. “Once the admission are done, people will scatter. Hence, forming this union at this moment is very important since all parents are together right now,” he said.

A parent, Balu Dandekar, recalled the multiple attempts he made to get admission for his child and was refused. “I started going to education board and there I found other parents and AAP volunteers who helped me. I learnt many new things about RTE Act too. I think the formation of this union is also important for that purpose – to give information to parents about their rights,” he said.

Source: The Indian Express

Mumbai | BMC unable to start 2nd round of admissions under RTE

Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is unable to start the second round of admissions for seats reserved under the Right to Education Act, 2009 as 580 admissions remain pending from round one.

Even over three months after the academic year began in June, the BMC had kept the admissions open as almost 1,200 out of 2,593 applicants had not secured admission. “After keeping admissions open for so many days also we the number of students admitted has reached 1,462. We do not think there is going to be any more admissions from round one,” said a BMC official.

However, state education department officials said they cannot allow the round two to commence before all pending admissions from round one are cleared. “For about 580 admissions, there is no update from the schools. Either schools are not giving them admissions or parents have not approached the schools but we will conduct round two only after the pending admissions are cleared,” said Dinkar Temkar, deputy director of education. The round two of admission is critical for students who were not allotted a seat in the first.

Source: The Times of India

Pune | Committee to guide RTE admissions

Pune: The state education department will form a state level co-ordination committee comprising representatives of school management, educationists and government officials to resolve the entry point concerning the 25% reservation quota under the Right to Education (RTE) Act.

Despite the high court’s orders, several schools across the state have refused to admit students at the pre-primary and standard I levels.

State education minister Vinod Tawde told TOI on Thursday that the current year has been extremely chaotic for admissions under the RTE Act. “While we had given a choice to schools that they can admit students in standard I, they must reserve 25% seats from the nursery, if this is the entry point. Schools’ representatives went to court which ordered that schools must admit students in both classes. It is now up to them to follow the court’s orders and admit students at both levels.”

Tawde said that in order to avoid a similar situation next year, the education department will identify educationists, school representatives and government officials who would study the present and past situations and formulate guidelines for effective implementation of the act.

“I would like to make any decision only after proper consultation with all the stakeholders. Hence, this panel would be responsible for implementing the RTE admissions next year. It will also be responsible for solutions to other problems in implementing the other provisions of the RTE Act,” said Tawde.

On Tuesday, when schools were told to start admitting students allotted in the first round of the online process of RTE admissions, many refused to admit students at both levels.

Source: The Times of India

Pune | Seven schools start RTE admission process

Pune: In a contrast to Monday’s scenario when education officials went from school to school to press them for admitting students under the Right to Education (RTE) quota for children from the economically weaker sections, several city school representatives came to the Education Board on Tuesday to discuss their problems in RTE implementation with officials and later agreed to start the process of RTE admissions.

Baban Dahiphale, administrative (education) officer of Pune Municipal Corporation, said that in the first positive sign on Tuesday after many days of struggle by education officials, seven city schools had agreed to give admissions to students at both pre-primary and Std I under the 25 per cent RTE quota for EWS students.

“We are pleased that some schools like the Tree House School at Kothrud, City International School at Wanowrie and Satara Road, DES’s Primary School, New English Medium School, NCL School in Pashan and Delhi Public School have either agreed or even started giving admissions under the RTE quota. It is good news for both parents and education officials who have been struggling to see the implementation of the RTE Act. We hope to get more co-operation from other schools,” he said.

Dahiphale said that while representatives of some schools like Tree House School and City International School had been called to the Education Board on Tuesday, others like DPS, Mohammadwadi were visited by officials after which they started giving some admissions.

Newsline had earlier reported that when some of the schools like DPS school at Mohammedwadi and DES New English Medium School at Tilak Road allegedly refused to give RTE quota admissions, PMC Education Board officials had sent a letter to the Zilla Parishad primary education officer recommending that these schools be considered for de-recognition. But before the ZP education officer could act, these schools started giving RTE admissions, officials said.

However, the problem continued at other schools. On Tuesday evening, there was a huge gathering of parents at the the PMC’s Education Board office to protest the reluctance of some schools in giving RTE admission. Angry parents locked the gates of the office. As tempers rose, police had to be called in. Later, the PMC education officer declared a three-day deadline for schools to complete the RTE admissions process and convened a meeting to discuss the implementation. It was only after he announced formation of 15 teams that the parents allowed the gates to be opened.

“We are collating data on all the complaints received so far and making a ward-wise list. A total of 15 teams are being formed with three people in each team to visit the schools from Wednesday. Within three days, we plan to complete the process of RTE round I admissions. Our teams will be going to the schools with the list of students and getting the problems resolved on the spot. If schools resist giving admissions despite High Court orders, we have decided to recommend them for de-recognition or any other action if needed,” said Dahiphale.

A Zilla Parishad team also visited the PMC Education Board office to discuss the problem. Mushtaq Shaikh, education officer (primary), said, “The team will have officials from PMC and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation who will work together to strategise on RTE round I admissions as they are facing common problems. Also, we have asked them to send us proposals for de-recognition of schools that don’t co-operate.”

Source: The Indian Express

Pune | Many schools still keep out RTE students

Pune: It was a chaotic first day for the 25% reservation quota admissions in schools under the Right to Education (RTE) Act on Monday as parents alleged that school authorities had sent the students back without admitting them to classes. Activists and parents protested outside the school board office of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) following refusal of admission by schools.

They were instructed by the school board to give admission to students allotted seats in the first round of the online process. Following the high court orders, schools were told to resume the admission process as per the dual entry system. Schools, however, insisted that their entry point was nursery and would admit students in only one class. A written affirmation by schools has been submitted to the school board.

The team of school board officials visited at least four to five schools in Kothrud area which denied admission to students as per complaints of parents. A parent said, “I went to the Millenium School in Kothrud for admission of my child in class I. However, the school authorities told us that admission will be given to students only at nursery level. The online admission process, however, allotted Millennium School for my ward for class I admission. I also have a record of the SMS about the allotment received from the education department.”

Parents said that it has been a long wait for them after the case was in the court for more than two months. “Now that the court has given clear directions, the schools are still refusing admissions. It is unfair for us and we cannot keep our children away from school any longer,” protesting parents waiting for two hours outside the Millennium School, said.

Nupur Mane, school official at Millennium School, said, “The parents and the PMC school board officials came to our school on Monday. We told them that we respect the court’s orders, but we will only admit students in the nursery class. We have also given a written explanation to the school board officials regarding our stand.”

The Aam Admi Party, Pune that was helping parents admit their children in allotted schools reported at least three more schools to the PMC school board that were refusing admissions to students. Abhijit More, convenor of AAP in Pune, said, “We were successful in convincing one Kothrud-based school to admit allotted students in the school after explaining the court orders and the mandatory admission rules. The school has promised us that all seven students allotted under the online process would be admitted to class on Tuesday.”

AAP party workers have said that a police complaint will be filed against schools that do not admit students and send them back despite allotment.

B K Dahiphale, chief of PMC school board, said, “Despite crystal clear orders from the high court to admit students as per the dual entry system in nursery as well as class I, schools continue to refuse students. We have told parents to file a police complaint against schools that refuse admission. We may cancel the school’s ‘no objection certificate’, if they are adamant on their decision.”

BLURB

The school board had conducted a meeting of principals last week in order to make them aware regarding the court decisions of dual entry point. Over 100 school principals attended this meeting and also agreed to follow court orders.

Source: The Times of India

Maharashtra | Round I of RTE admissions: Deadline shifted to August 26

Pune: The state primary education director Mahaveer Mane has instructed education officers across the state to ensure that round I of RTE admissions, which had come to a standstill, be restarted with immediate effect.

Mane had convened a meeting with education officials to discuss the course of action for RTE admissions after the Bombay High Court upheld the state government’s decision to revive the January 21 resolution, implementing dual-entry admissions of students of Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), stating that it was well within the framework of the Right to Education Act (RTE).

“We have been told to complete the process by August 27 and submit a report. We have been told to initiate necessary action, including derecognition, in case of schools that refuse to give RTE admissions despite the HC orders,” said a senior education official.

According to the January 21 resolution, all private, unaided schools in the state that have pre-primary classes will have to admit students belonging to the EWS category from pre-primary level. In schools that do not have pre-primary classes, students should be admitted from Class I onwards. According to the GR, schools must reserve 25 per cent of seats across all elementary classes and even if they fail to get adequate EWS admissions in any class, they must keep the remaining seats under the quota vacant.

Meanwhile acting on the orders received from senior officials, PMC education officer Baban Dahiphale has issued a circular to all ward level education officers and principals of schools within PMC limits and stated that RTE admissions must begin with immediate effect. Approximately 2000 city students are yet to get admissions despite getting allotments under round I. The letter that quotes the HC order dated August 14 states that admission is permissible at both Class I and/or pre-school level. “Since most of the schools had stopped giving admissions as they had questioned the dual entry point, we think the High Court order has made it abundantly clear. There should be no reason for denying RTE admissions that were given by online allotments and hence we have asked that all allotments on both levels should be re-started and the process completed at the earliest,” he said.

Since the HC order also makes a mention of the issue of reimbursements to schools, the letter goes on to state that a camp has been organised by the zilla parishad education officer (primary), Pune, on August 26 to discuss and record the proposals for fee reimbursements from 2012 to 2015.

Source: The Indian Express

Maharashtra | Next year onwards, 25% quota admissions to start from December

Pune: With the mayhem that admissions under the Right to Education Act’s 25 per cent quota creates every year in city schools, the primary education department has decided to start the admissions from December for the academic year 2015-16. To make sure that there are no delays, the state will also file a caveat in the High Court, said Mahavir Mane, director, primary education.

“This year, we started our admissions to the 25 per cent quota in April-May. But unfortunately, there was a court case filed by the schools and this led to a lot of delay. What we will do next time is to open admissions for the 25 per cent reserved quota in December itself. This will give us a lot of time to do the entire admission process smoothly,” said Mahavir Mane. As per the Right to Education Act (RTE) of 2009, 25 per cent seats at the entry level (class 1 or pre-primary) in all private unaided non-minority schools should be reserved for students belonging to economically weaker sections of the society.

Purushottam Bhapkar, education commissioner, also confirmed the move. “Next time onwards, we will be planning the admissions to RTE quota well in advance so that even if problems arise, those could be solved smoothly without affecting the admission process,” said Bhapkar. Talking about the caveat move, Mane said, “The whole point by the schools filing suits every year is to disrupt the process of admissions under RTE. Hence we will be filing a caveat in the court to make sure that before any action is taken by the High court, we are informed.”

Mane also said that a review will be taken of all schools registered for online admissions to see how many seats were actually allotted in the 25 per cent quota, how many students got admission through online process and how many seats are vacant in the same quota.

“This will help in understanding if any school has given out the seats reserved under the RTE to students belonging to the general category. This will be considered a violation of the RTE act and appropriate action will be taken by the education department against such schools. We have time and again said that the seats reserved for students belonging to EWS category will not be in any case diverted for regular admissions but will be kept vacant throughout the academic year,” said Mane.

Source: The Indian Express

Maharashtra | Tired of waiting for 2nd round, RTE students fill paid seats

Mumbai: Online admissions of students from economically weaker sections to the Right to Education (RTE) seats have been a flop this year, said child rights activists. After dragging its feet in the first admission round, Maharashtra has still not given clearance to start another round and tired of waiting for admissions, students eligible for the quota are moving onto paid seats, they said.

Although it’s been more than two months since the schools opened for the new academic year, only 1,420 students, out of 2, 849 allotted seats, have been admitted in the first round. The number of students admitted has increased only by 16 since July 26, when it stood at 1,404.

Activists blamed the low numbers on schools denying admission to students citing a different entry-level, but many RTE students were forced to take admissions in paid seats in other schools as they could not wait any longer.

“My son was allotted a seat in kindergarten in a private school in Sion in March, but his admission could not get confirmed for months,” said Imraan Shaikh, a parent from Dharavi. “I got tired of waiting and finally enrolled my child in another school, even though I can barely afford it.”

Like Shaikh, many other parents are taking admissions in non-RTE seats, said Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials. “We kept the first round of admissions open till now, but those who were allotted seats are not taking them up anymore,” said a senior official from the BMC.

Despite this, the BMC is unable to conduct further admission rounds. “The state government is not giving clearance for second round till all those who were allotted take admissions,” said Sambhavi Jogi, education officer, BMC. “We have proposed it to them several times. More rounds will help students who have not yet been allotted seats.”

However, Dinkar Temkar, deputy director of primary education said, “First, all the pending admissions of the first round need to be cleared, only then we can permit the next round. We are also waiting for the HC judgement in the ongoing dual-entry case.”

Source: Hindustan Times

Mumbai | RTE admissions: Round 2 may fail

Mumbai: With the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) awaiting instructions from the state government to start a second round of admissions for seats reserved under the Right to Education Act, officials fear that most students have moved to other schools and the round may not be useful.

RTE admissions, which began in March, had been stalled for some months after schools and activists moved the Bombay high court due to disagreement on the entry level as prescribed by the state. The HC last week upheld the state government’s rules that specify two entry levels: pre-primary and class 1. “Some weeks back, when the HC asked us to restart admissions pending from round one, we reactivated the website and told parents to approach schools where they were allotted a seat. But only 30 admissions have been done since,” an official said.

Out of 4,104 applicants, 2,849 were allotted seats and around 1,420 were admitted to schools.

The second round was expected to give a chance for the over 1,250 students who were not allotted seats. “It is almost the end of the first semester. The response has been poor when we tried to clear pending admissions from round one. This could be because the children must have joined other schools or parents are not keeping track of the process. We are prepared for the next round but we may not get a good response,” said the official.

Source: The Times of India