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