For the upcoming academic year, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is creating a mobile phone application to ease the admission process for students applying to seats reserved under the Right to Education Act, 2009. Admissions through the centralized online process are expected to begin in the last week of January, earlier than usual.
All unaided non-minority schools in the city are expected to reserve 25% of their seats at the entry level for students from economically weaker sections. Admissions to these seats are conducted through a series of online lotteries conducted by the BMC.
Officials from the civic education department said, “Once the app is ready, we will finalize the admission schedule such that it is completed before vacation begins. Earlier, the admission process went on up to May and parents complained that they missed it.” Last year, the admission process started in February.
According to the tentative schedule, schools will begin registrations on January 22 and the portal will be thrown open to applicants on January 24. The BMC plans to conduct six rounds of lottery and complete the process by April 24.
Activists, however, feel the initiatives won’t benefit unless loopholes in the process are fixed. “Schools are expected to register every year. This way, some of them may try to wriggle out of the process. Also, the age limit for students with disabilities must be done away with,” said Sudhir Paranjpe, member of the NGO Anudanit Shiksha Bachao Andolan. “The BMC should also ensure that schools allotted to the students actually complete the admissions because often students are turned away on frivolous grounds.”
The Unaided Schools Forum, which is still awaiting reimbursements since a few years, will meet to decide whether or not to boycott the admission process this year.
Source: Times of India