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Key meeting today to decide fate of students seeking admissions under RTE

The meeting will discuss the number of students allotted admissions under the RTE and those actually granted the admissions.

Written by Alifiya Khan | Pune | Published: October 3, 2015 2:55 am

Fate of thousands of students waiting to get admissions under the 25 per cent quota for economically weaker sections under the Right to Education Act is likely to be decided on Saturday in a statewide review meeting that will take place via video-conferencing to discuss various education-related issues.

The meeting will discuss the number of students allotted admissions under the RTE and those actually granted the admissions. It will also decide on the action against schools that are refusing RTE admissions despite several warnings.

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The meeting, called by the state’s director of primary education, is to be attended by the deputy directors of all divisions. Education officers will also discuss 15 other items on the agenda, from mid-day meal schemes to current status of baseline tests, formation of quality assessment cells, weight of school bags and so on.

The first discussion point is utilisation certificate, which relates to utilisation of funds allotted for various projects. This will be followed by discussions on SARAL database entry of schools, teachers and students, school sanction process for current year, pending court cases, grading of schools and establishment of quality assessment cells at the school level to track the qualitative development of both teachers and students and suggest ways for improvement.

However, a more important subject on the list of discussion is the current status of the baseline test survey and the need to complete it within the October 7 deadline.

“The meeting will take stock of how far the work of developing the SARAL database has been done. The data will have all personal details of students as well as school, which are essential for all future educational projects that we plan to implement. Of the three regions of Pune, Solapur and Ahmednagar, the SARAL database work has been completed by nearly 97 per cent in Nagar district while it has not crossed 60 per cent in Solapur and Pune,” said Ramchandra Jadhav, deputy director of education (Pune).

“We were hoping to finish data entry by October 1 deadline. Also, we need to take stock as to how many schools have completed baseline tests, whether papers have reached all schools and if there are any technical difficulties involved in it since it is the first time that the tests are being conducted. We have also asked all the education officers to come with the inspection reports and data on visits paid to schools to check the weight of school bags and if the information on capping weight of school bags was circulated and so on,” said Jadhav.

Insurance claims of students, a subject for which education officers have received considerable flak recently, is also on the agenda.

Jadhav said while the meeting would review as to how many claims were made on behalf of students and how many of them settled, low number of claims sent by schools would also be discussed.

“Recently, there were some concerns raised on this. While we keep learning about accidents met by students, the number of claims sent by the schools are too few. This is leading to waste of state money as it has already invested this money into the security of students by paying insurance companies. Hence, students must get benefits of this scheme,” he said.

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