Ranchi | 1k BPL applicants for 817 RTE seats

Ranchi: The district education office is hoping for cent percent enrolment in private schools under the BPL quota in the new academic year. The office has received over 1,000 applications for 817 seats.

The Right to Education Act makes it mandatory for every private school to have 25% seats reserved for students from economically backward families who are entitled to free education. There are 64 private schools in the city registered under the act. Only 447 seats were filled in 2015-16.

District superintendent of education Jayant Mishra said, “All forms have been forwarded to the respective schools. We are hoping that we will achieve 100% enrolment under the BPL category.”

School education and literacy department secretary Aradhana Patnaik said, “We have sent the guidelines to each school this time. So we are hopeful that all 817 seats will be filled this year. The guidelines also mention that a student whose parents’ annual income is below Rs 72,000 will be considered for the BPL quota.”

The education department has decided to pay Rs 425 for each BPL student to encourage schools to take in more poor children. To add to the incentive, the government will also reimburse costs that the schools incurred for BPL students in the past four years.

“All schools that followed RTE guidelines during admission are being reimbursed. The DCs of every district have been asked to send the department a list of such schools and their dues. We have already reimbursed around Rs 5 crore for 2014-15 and 2015-16. A small amount for the year 2013-14 and 2012-13 is yet to be reimbursed,” Patnaik said.

Meanwhile, around 50 applications for admission in minority schools, like St Xavier’s and St Thomas, also reached the DSE office, but when the forms were forwarded to the respective schools, the administration returned them.
“As per the Supreme Court’s direction, minority schools do not come under the ambit of RTE Act in case of BPL admission… so we cannot legally force them to admit poor students. However, we have requested them to admit BPL students on the grounds of social responsibility,” said Patnaik and added that the minority schools will also be reimbursed for admitting BPL students following the admission guidelines.

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