Nagpur | Notice to 290 schools over RTE admissions

Nagpur: The local education department is planning to issue show cause notice to approximately 290 schools that have not started admissions under Right to Education Act (RTE) quota yet. A source in the department said schools had been citing various reasons for not going through with the process and through this show cause notice their reason for stopping admissions will become official. Schools are likely to receive the notices on Tuesday and will get maximum three days to respond. The education department will take action after replies of schools are received.

The admissions under RTE’s 25% quota have been a fiasco right from the time the system shifted to online mode. The online admission lottery was to bring in transparency and fast turnaround but it has been a downhill ever since. Problems started the moment the software accepted applications from parents for both pre-primary and primary sections of the same school, even though technically it should have been in only one section.

An education official speaking on condition of anonymity blamed the schools. “Before the online lottery, we had asked schools to register and enter their details. They messed up by giving both primary and pre-primary as their entry point. Hence the software calculated accordingly,” the official said. However, schools deny the charge saying the software is flawed. “Since there can be only one entry point, the software should have automatically rejected selection of a secondary choice. This shows the software’s algorithm is flawed,” a principal said.

The RTE admission fiasco across the state is now in a state of deadlock with nothing moving from either side. The entire thing has also become sub-judice with Bombay High Court on May 5 directing schools to maintain status-quo and by not cancelling the pre-primary admissions. The directive came after the state government on April 30 issued a government resolution (GR) saying pre-primary admissions can be cancelled by schools as the entry point shall be Std I for all. This GR, because of its ambiguity, created more problems as schools interpreted it as no fresh admissions in Std I. This is because their RTE students from KG2 were being promoted to Std I thus fulfilling 25% quota. The education department insisted that fresh admissions needed to done.

The department’s Nagpur office believes show cause notices are the best way to end the stalemate. An official said, “Once schools share their reasons for not giving admissions we can address the problem.”

Source: The Times of India

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