Mumbai: Parents whose children have been admitted in the pre-primary section of unaided schools under the Right to Education Act quota are a worried lot. They are worried because principal secretary of school education department Nand Kumar has announced cancellation of all such admissions. Earlier, state education minister Vinod Tawde had said that the government would not reimburse fees of students admitted in pre-primary sections under the 25% RTE quota.
Recently, a few school principals from Navi Mumbai had met Tawde seeking revocation of a government resolution issued in January, which according to their interpretation, stated that they would have to keep aside 25% seats under the RTE quota in pre-primary as well as Standard I.
Raj Aloni, principal of Ramsheth Thakur Public School, said, “On our request, a decision was taken to admit children only in standard I. It is simply not possible to admit children both in pre-primary and primary sections under the quota.”
“No school would now chose the pre-primary section for admission under RTE quota from next year as they won’t be able to get reimbursement from the government. On top of that, children who are admitted in the pre-primary section in future, may not get the guarantee of admission in standard I due to the reservation there. Also, children who were admitted last year will now be in trouble as schools may ask them to pay fees,” Aloni added.
A principal of a CBSE school from Navi Mumbai said, “If the education department cancels RTE admissions of pre-primary section this year, then they should also cancel those of the last year.”
When contacted, Kumar said, “It’s not the schools that will cancel the admissions, but we will cancel them. This year, only standard I admissions under RTE quota will happen. Two batches have been given admission under the quota till now — one pre-primary and the other Standard I. The admissions of the pre-primary batch will be cancelled.”
Vijay Kanojia, state general secretary of Mumbai Pradesh Youth Congress, said, “Parents are going to suffer because of this decision. I have been getting calls from worried parents about it.”
K Narayan, secretary of Anudanit Shiksha Bachchao Samiti, said, “We will approach the court against the government decision of cancelling pre-primary admission.”