Pune: Row resolved, RTE admissions begin today

The online registration forms for 25 per cent quota admissions under the Right to Education (RTE) Act will finally be available from today. The standoff between private school managements and education department officials over entry level for next year’s admissions has been resolved and the former agreed to complete the registration process so that RTE admissions could begin.
 Scores of schools in both Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) had refused to register their schools in the RTE online database, citing reasons such as non-reimbursement of RTE dues of previous years and not being allowed to choose the entry point i.e. class in which students of RTE quota will be admitted. The education department even sent notices to schools threatening de-recognition if they did not register under RTE.
Once the school registrations are complete then an area-wise database of schools and RTE seats will be available after which the education department can start taking forms of eligible students and allot admissions.
On Monday, a meeting took place between representatives of school managements and education officials to resolve the deadlock. “Firstly, we demanded that the threatening letters be withdrawn and no action on de-recognition should be initiated. Secondly, we said that schools should be allowed to choose the entry point. If schools want to give RTE admissions in Std I, then it is their right. Since state government doesn’t reimburse pre-primary dues, it cannot demand to give admissions in nursery. The schools will give 25 per cent admissions under RTE as per their entry point…. As education department officials consented, we decided to complete registration in interest of students even though our RTE dues for previous years are pending,” said Rajendra Singh, president of Independent English Schools Association.
Meanwhile, Mahavir Mane, director of primary education, said that schools can take Std I as entry point but on one condition. “Our concern was that they give 25 per cent fresh admissions under RTE quota. Many schools have given admissions in nursery classes in previous years and those students will now come to Std I. We were initially against accepting change in entry point since schools could have pointed to old students who have got promoted in Std I and said there are RTE students at entry level. But schools have assured that besides students that get promoted, they will give fresh 25 per cent admissions,” he said.
On Tuesday, many parents and volunteers of Aam Aadmi Party had held a protest at the directorate of education against the delay in the process. Mukund Kirdat, volunteer of AAP, said, “They have declared the date but should soon also declare the list of help centres where parents can go. Also this year, schools have been given right to verify documents and it could lead to issues as schools could reject valid documents too,” he said.
The state government website for RTE quota admissions: http://rte25admission.maharashtra.gov.in/adm_portal/Users/rteindex

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