MORE THAN 1,200 children seeking admissions under the Right to Education (RTE) Act have been rendered ineligible for this year as they did not confirm their admissions after the first round of lottery held earlier this month, said an official at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) education department.
Of the 3,270 students allotted seats, only 1,993 have secured their places. The rest are out of the race for this year, according to a government resolution released earlier this year.
The first round of lottery was held on March 6 and the admission process took place between March 8 and 18.
Officials of the BMC’s education department, which is handling the process, said that the clause of confirming admissions after the first lottery had been intimated to parents during the application process.
RTE activist Sudhir Paranjape, however, said that there were reports of several students being denied admissions by the schools. “Parents have been running around to confirm their wards’ admissions but they are being turned down by schools on account of ‘problems’ in admission forms,” said Paranjape. “The issue was brought to the notice of the chairman for RTE admissions,” he added.
The deputy director of education, B B Chavan, who is the chairman for the RTE admissions, echoed him. “Parents have come to us with complaints that the schools were turning them away. We have issued letters to at least five such schools,” said Chavan. “The schools are not supposed to verify documents. If a seat is allotted to a student, they are bound to admit the child.”
Education department officials suggested that an offline round could be held for the children who were allegedly denied admissions by schools.
Paranjape, however, said if the problem persists, the parents will approach the Child Rights Commission and the Bombay High Court. “Last year’s cases are still pending with the Child Rights Commission. This time, we will move the high court to expedite the hearing,” he said.
This year, 9,426 applications were received for 8,593 seats in 334 schools. The second round of lottery will be held on Friday.