Mumbai | Only 39% kids get RTE seats, BMC plans 4th round

MUMBAI: Only 2,498 students of the 6,409 who applied during the three online rounds for entry to unaided non-minority schools in the city under the Right to Education Act have been admitted. The third round that ended on September 10 ended with only 75 of the 891 selected students securing admission.

The online admission rounds began in April with 318 schools reserving 25% of their seats at the entry level for students belonging to the weaker sections. A total of 9,664 seats -3,359 in pre-primary and 6,305 in Class I -were available under the quota this year.

The BMC‘s education department, which conducts the admissions, is mulling another round after only 39% were admitted under RTE. “Many students have secured admission in other schools and hence the poor response. But since we have vacancies, we are considering a fourth round. A decision is expected in the coming week,” said Prakash Charate, deputy education officer. “Some parents are very selective and hence have not been able to secure admission,” he added.
However, activists complained that the low number was due to schools’ unwillingness to accept students from economically weaker sections and the government’s inability to take action against them. “Hundreds of students have been turned back by the schools on various grounds such as distance from residence or discrepancies with income certificate. Despite making corrections, the schools have refused the students. Only some of these students participated in the following rounds but a lot of them are out of school,” said Sudhir Paranjape of Anudanit Shiksha Bachao Samiti, a NGO.

They feel the implementing agencies need to be more pro-active. “The BMC does not take action against schools which have refused admission year after year. This way, none of the schools will fear flouting norms,” said Paranjape.

 Officials said they have sent notices to several schools. “Whenever we received a complaint, we sent a showcause notice to the school. Repeated notices have been sent till we got a satisfactory reply. Currently , there is only one school which is yet to reply to our notice,” said Charate.

Source : Times of India

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