Pune | Education dept blamed for poor RTE Act implementation

PUNE: Parents and education activists have blamed the state directorate of education for benefits of the Right to Education Act (RTE) not reaching the economically backward students. The process of filling 25% reserved seats has started but many parents have pointed out technical difficulties in filling up the forms.

RTE activists said they have registered many complaints against schools that refuse to cooperate during the admission process, but the state directorate of education department has not taken action against any school so far. While students’ organisations plan to protest against the department’s failure to implement the RTE Act effectively, a department official said that the admission process is being streamlined and positive results will be seen by next week.

RTE activist Sonali Kunjir said, “The initial two or three days of the admission process were tough as the officers at the centre themselves looked confused. The centres remained open only for a few hours and anxious parents carrying incomplete forms were told to come back the next day.”

Parents complained that they were issued tokens but were told that only 10 forms could be accepted on a working day between 10 am and 5 pm.

A parent who visited a centre in Pimpri said, “We went to the municipal office to get an income certificate, but were sent back and told to come 10 days later. So, we will not be able to submit the school form for some more days.”

Another parent from Chinchwad said, “The centre was open only for two hours because it was a centre for SSC board examination. Thus the officers responsible would accept only limited number of forms. Many parents were forced to go back.”

The NCP students’ wing has threatened to protest against the education department. Rakesh Kamthe, the city president of the student wing, said, “Schools must participate sincerely in the admission process. Many schools have demanded money from students. Free and compulsory education will never be achieved until the mindset changes.”

State director of education Mahavir Mane said the admission process is online in over eight cities in the state. He said the teething problems are normal. “We are fixing problems reported by several centres. The process will be streamlined by next week. However, the admission process has not stopped and parents must fill forms at the designated centres.”

On complaints of students’ organisations, Mane said, “If there are any issues regarding implementation of the RTE then a written complaint should be given to us. We will definitely take action.”

Source: Times of India

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