In a move to curb confusion and malpractices in the implementation of Right To Education (RTE) Act,the state education department has formed a study group comprising experts to give their opinion on centralising admissions under the 25 per cent quota.
According to sources in the school education department,the group is expected to review the implementation of the Act across the state,check the feasibility of introducing centralised admissions and give its opinion on it.
Following confusion among schools and complaints from NGOs and parents over the implementation of the 25 per cent quota for students from economically weaker sections (EWS),the department is now looking at centralised admission instead of leaving it to schools.
Under the RTE Act (2009),all schools except those run by unaided minority trusts have to keep 25 per cent seats reserved for students from EWS. If the new plan is implemented,the government will allot seats to students based on their area of residence.
Minister of State for School Education Fauziya Khan confirmed the move. She said,A lot of questions have been raised over the implementation of RTE Act across the state,especially admissions under 25 per cent quota. Hence,we think it will be beneficial if we make the admission process centralised to ensure the implementation is done systematically. Discussions are at a preliminary stage,but we feel the move will stop all kinds of malpractices and ensure that EWS students get admission under the quota.
She added,We have formed a study group that will give recommendations and opinion on making a centralised admission process. The study group comprises experts who have also worked on the FYJC online admissions.
In April,the Supreme Court upheld the RTE Act,terming it as constitutionally valid and making it applicable to all schools controlled by the government or local bodies. As per the Act provisions,every school will have to ensure that students from underprivileged and weaker categories get admitted against 25 per cent of the total admission capacity. Every school in Maharashtra,which will admit children under the RTE Act,is entitled to get reimbursement of nearly Rs 10,127 per admitted student per year. Schools will get these reimbursements in two installments,first in October and then in April.
Several NGOs in Mumbai and Pune had demanded starting the Centralised Admission Process (CAP) for seats under the Act.
On August 7,several educational NGOs in Pune held a public meeting on the issue,where they urged the State Education Department to start centralised admission for quota seats. These NGOs alleged that schools are still reluctant to fill in the quota seats and flout the Act norms.