RTE admissions over, more than 6K seats lie vacant
THE HIGH COURT HAD ORDERED BMC AND SCHOOLS TO PUBLICISE THE FREE SEATS
The fifth round for admissions to Right to Education (RTE) seats, reserved for poor students, concluded in Mumbai on Saturday. Even though around 9,400 applicants [the highest in four years] took part in the process this year, only 2,800 confirmed admissions.
The RTE Act, 2009 and its rules stipulate that unaided, non-minority private schools set aside 25% of their seats for students from families earning less than one lakh annually, and those belonging to socially disadvantaged groups. These students are taught free of cost from Classes 1 to 8, and the government reimburses the school later.
But with few students confirming admission, there are close to 5,000 seats leftover at the entrylevel in 334 private schools in Mumbai, which participated in the online admission process carried out by the BMC.
Adding to the woes of the schools’ management, these seats will remain vacant for the academic year 2017-18 as Maharashtra government has barred schools from admitting non-rte students for these seats. Schools are upset at losing revenue as the state government will not reim burse them for the vacant seats “These seats are piling on every year and eating into our reve nue,” said Amol Dhamdhere vice-president of the Indian Edu cation Society (IES) schools and director of Sanjeevani Interna tional School in Mulund. “The department should find a way to increase response for the RTE quota,” he added.
BMC education officials said that most families target seats in popular city schools and do not accept admission in other schools. “A few popular schools received hundreds of applica tions while 34 schools did not have any takers,” said Nisaar Khan, education inspector of BMC. “Students don’t report for admission if they don’t get a school of their choice,” he added
The official also pointed out that the number of admissions has been increasing gradually. In 2014-15 only 1,069 students were admitted. In 2016-16, the number of admissions grew to 1,688 in and 2,506 in 2016-17.