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