A total of 33 city schools will be sent notices from the education department of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for complaints received regarding admissions through Right to Education (RTE).
The BMC has received complaints from parents against 33 schools that have either denied admission to students or asked for tuition fees from the students admitted through RTE. “We will instruct these schools not to collect any fee from the students,” said Prakash Charhate, deputy education officer.
While the BMC refused to reveal the names of the schools, it said two schools had outrightly denied admission to students even though they had been allotted seats in the schools in the first round of lottery.
“A school in Malad denied admissions to students who had been allotted seats, saying it was a minority school and hence did not come under the ambit of RTE,” said an official from the BMC education department on condition of anonymity.
“Many parents have complained to us that unaided schools were charging fees from students for uniforms, books and notebooks,” said the official, who said some schools were also charging tuition fees from the students. “We are asked to pay Rs 4,200 for books and notebooks,” said Wasim Sheikh, whose child is studying in a school in Sion.
According to the RTE, children from economically weaker sections can avail of free primary education as 25 per cent seats in schools are reserved for them. The tuition fee is reimbursed to the schools.
“While some BMC and aided schools are also reimbursed for books and uniforms, unaided schools are only reimbursed for the tuition fees. However, parents want the unaided schools to provide uniforms and books for free,” said Charhate. “It is not fair to the private schools.”
He said the BMC will however ask the schools not to charge anything from the RTE students. “The students can buy the uniforms and books from outside,” said Charhate.
Other complaints include the contention between parents and schools on the veracity of income certificates submitted by the parents. The official said in case of bogus certificates, the schools have been instructed to give parents time to furnish original certificates. However, the schools were denying admission to students.