Pune | Govt to step in with parents

Pune: Education dept officials to be present at schools denying admission, though there isn’t enough staff to look into every case.

The state education department has decided to send their officials with parents to schools denying students admission under the Right To Education (RTE) Act. The only glitch is that while there are thousands of students awaiting admission, the education department has only around 100 officials.

Meanwhile, the Bombay High Court (HC) has asked the state government to implement the earlier regulations set out for admission under the Act. After the government withdrew the April 30 resolution during the court hearing on Thursday, the HC on Friday, at a hearing of the ongoing case, reinstated the previous GR ordering schools to begin admission. According to the court order, a new GR has been issued, asking schools to begin admission under RTE as per the earlier regulations which included admission to pre-primary classes as well.

There are 4,372 children in Pune and 14,300 across Maharashtra awaiting admission under RTE. While it has already been over a month since schools reopened after summer vacation, such unrealistic promises by the education department only add to parents’ frayed nerves.

A senior official from the education department, who looks after RTE admissions, said, “We are getting several complaints from parents about schools denying admission. Hence, we have decided to send our officials to schools, while parents are present.”

Maitreyi Shankar, of Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (KKPKP), an organisation helping parents, said, “The government has not informed us or parents about their decision. If they really want to help by sending their officials, they should ensure that parents know about their plan. As of now, the situation is that schools are continuing to deny admissions. In fact, in the recent round of allotment, the government missed out on informing parents about which school their child has been given a seat. Parents have to go to each school they have applied to.”

Sudhir Paranjpe of the Anudanit Shiksha Bachao Samiti, another organisation helping out with RTE admissions, said, “This court order brings clarity for parents. All admissions will be according to earlier regulations, thereby making no changes in the three-year old process.”

Mukund Kirdat of the Aam Aadmi Party, who is also helping parents, said, “It is a victory for the common man and slap in the face of Vinod Tawade’s pro-private education policies. We are providing parents with a copy of the new GR which is in accordance with the HC’s recent order. We are sure schools will make excuses, saying haven’t received the GR, etc. Parents should have proof in their hands instead of depending on the education department.”

The government has not informed us or parents about their decision. If they really want to help by sending their officials, they should ensure that parents know about their plan- Maitreyi Shankar, KKPKP

Source: Pune Mirror

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