As scores of parents and education activists protested outside the office of state’s director of primary education on Tuesday, the last date for RTE admissions under Round One, authorities decided to extend the deadline till July 28.
B K Dahiphale, PMC school board’s education officer, said the decision was taken since thousands of students were yet to get their admissions despite getting allotments, many due to refusal by schools.
According to statistics shared by the school board, a total of 6,459 seats were available in 214 schools in the city under RTE, of which 2,583 were in pre-primary section and 3,876 in Standard I. However, of these, only 2,001 students have been able to confirm their admissions while 2,885 seats are still vacant, including 804 in pre-primary and 2,084 seats in Standard I. Besides these, 1,305 students who were allotted seats have been rejected admissions due to various reasons like non-completion of paper work while 268 students have not reported to schools.
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“From Wednesday, an officer from each of the 15 education wards across Pune will go to the schools refusing to give admissions and tell them it is mandatory for them to do so. We appeal to parents that if schools refuse to give admissions despite allotments, they should approach the PMC education board’s RTE cell and submit an application on July 22 during office hours. The application should have name of the student, application number, entry point, parents’ contact number, school’s name and address. We will send the officer concerned along with the parent to the school and ask them to give the admission in front of them,” said Dahiphale. He said if schools still refuse to oblige, they will face action under The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, which includes cancellation of registration.
However, schools are protesting the dual-entry point i.e. both at pre-primary and Standard I and are awaiting for fresh directions from the High Court where court cases are being heard in matters of RTE. The court had earlier directed the education officials to complete Round-I of RTE admissions.
Meanwhile, education activist Mukund Kirdat, who led the delegation of parents on Tuesday, demanded that besides grievance redressal of parents as well as ensuring legal action against schools refusing admissions, there should also be a Plan B for students. “Alternative school should be offered in case the school is not granting admission for any reason. And if the local government body fails to do so, it should reimburse expenses directly to student,” he said.