UNCERTAINTY LOOMS large over the future of children applying for admission under the Right to Education (RTE) Act as unaided schools in the city have decided to boycott the admission process that begins on Wednesday. Unaided schools, which claimed they haven’t received dues from the state government for admitting students under RTE, said they will not admit any new students this year unless the state release funds. S C Kedia, secretary, unaided schools forum, said: “The government hasn’t cleared our dues over the past five years. Schools have been admitting students to the RTE quota but haven’t been reimbursed.” He said that dues were to the tune of Rs 600-800 crore.
“It is therefore that schools have decided that they will not admit students under RTE this year. Most of the schools are in support of this movement,” said Kedia. The first round of lottery was held on Tuesday in which 3,239 applicants were allotted seats reserved under the RTE Act for children from economically weaker sections. Of them, 1,088 are eligible for admission to pre-primary sections and 2,151 to the primary section (Class I). In the first round only 30 per cent of the total applicants — 10,628 — were allotted seats.
Those given seats have to approach the respective schools to confirm their admissions between March 14 and 24. This year there are 8,374 seats in 347 schools across the city. However, with schools refusing to admit students, there is no clarity on what happens to the applicants.
Mahesh Palkar, the education officer of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation which conducts the admission process, said: “The allotment has been completed. Now parents can approach the schools allotted to their wards. We are not aware of any boycott by schools.” Responding to a text message, Nand Kumar, secretary, school education, said: “We don’t have any information on that (boycott) but we have resolved all their issues.”