Maharashtra | RTE admissions yet to gain momentum

KOLHAPUR: The primary education department of the Kolhapur Municipal Corporation (KMC) has received merely nine applications for the 25% quota for economically and socially disadvantaged children, as well as those with disabilities in elementary schools, since it started the admission drive earlier this week. The department, which has 278 seats reserved under the Right to Education quota in 40 schools, has now resorted to door-to-door visits to create awareness among parents about the RTE Act.

BM Killedar, administrative officer, KMC told TOI, “We are implementing the online admission system for the RTE quota for the first time this year. The process which started on March 3 has received just nine applications for 278 seats and is not a good sign. To increase the awareness we have asked the teachers to visit homes within 1km radius of the respective schools to improve the response.”

The awareness drive will start from Saturday. The application process will go on till March 12, and the admissions will be granted through lottery system on March 18.

From this year the directorate of primary education has decided to implement the online admission system across private schools in the city.

Earlier, the RTE admissions were conducted by the Kolhapur zilla parishad’s primary education department, which now is looking after the offline admissions under RTE 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 minority schools. These children receive free education, including textbooks, and other facilities.

The school education department had implemented centralized online admission process for RTE quota on an experimental procedure in Pune and Mumbai divisions last year, which was claimed to be successful. The department had planned to replicate the same model across the state from 2015-16.

In fact, S Chockalingam, former education commissioner who is now the Pune divisional commissioner, last year said that the admission process to primary schools under the RTE quota would be made online at all municipal corporations and that a simultaneous admission schedule will be launched across the state.

The schools run by the government, local self-governing bodies and those private schools which receive salary and non-salary grant in aid from the government are bound by the statutory provisions to reserve 52% of their total sanctioned intake. This includes seats for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, ‘vimukta jamati’ (denotified tribes), notified tribes, other backward classes and special backward classes.

In 2013-14, more than 50% reserved RTE seats had remained vacant in the district, after which the zilla parishad had asked the district schools to take a survey in 1km radius of their schools to identify any RTE beneficiaries. In 2014-15 the admission rate has improved slightly with the district generating 55% admission rate through conventional admission system.

Source: Times of India

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