MORE THAN 7,000 seats in primary and pre-primary sections reserved for admission through the Right to Education (RTE) Act may remain vacant throughout the year as education officials have said there may not be a further round of allotment.
After three rounds of allotment and several extensions of dates, only 20 per cent seats earmarked for economically weaker sections of the society have been filled.
At the beginning of the admission process, 9,664 seats were available for 6,409 eligible applicants.
However, only 2,498 have confirmed their admissions at the end of the third allotment, leaving 7,166 seats vacant.
“Parents are just not approaching schools for admissions, despite several extensions,” said Mahesh Palkar, Education Officer, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) which is handling the lottery for the RTE admissions.
In the first round of the 3,411 selected candidates, 2,050 have confirmed their admissions.
Thereafter, the turnout reduced significantly — of the 1,618 applicants selected in round two, only 373 showed up for admissions, and the number dropped to 75 in the third round where 891 candidates were allotted schools.
Palkar said the drop could be because several applicants had taken admissions in schools outside the RTE quota.
He said parents may not have liked the schools allotted to them and have opted to go elsewhere.
“The demand for some schools was higher than the others and seats in the ones with higher demand were filled up,” said Palkar.
According to Palkar, the chances of a fourth round are bleak as the turnout in the last round was so weak despite a 10-day extension.