Updated: July 3, 2021 10:08:13 am
Only one in four students granted admission to a school under the Right to Education (RTE) Act quota have confirmed their seats, reveals data from the Maharashtra School Education Department.
Due to poor response from students, the department had earlier granted a 15-day period for parents to confirm the admission, which has now been extended by a week. Parents will be able to complete the admission formalities by July 9.
Across the state, a total of 2.2 lakh applications were received against 96,684 vacancies, for which 82,129 students were given allotments in the first round. However, even after a fortnight, only 26,845 parents have approached the allotted schools to confirm the admissions.
In Pune, 3014 admissions have taken place against 14,567 allotments while in Mumbai, only 1,641 students have confirmed admissions while 4,985 were given allotments.
Under the RTE Act, 25 per cent seats in private unaided schools are reserved for EWS quota students, whose fees are paid by the government until Class VIII. While some parents have failed to confirm admissions despite the opportunity of getting free education, activists fear that these students may fall out of the school system. They have urged the state Education department to track each student.
This year, the lottery round for admissions was conducted on April 7 via video-conferencing, after which SMSs were sent to the parents, who had to confirm admissions by June 30. If those allotted the seats fail to confirm the admission, then the seats will be given to students on the waiting list.
Activists have urged the state government to get in touch with parents who have failed to confirm the admissions to find out the reasons, and assist them in resolving those issues.
“Since the Covid-19 pandemic situation, students are facing a lot of problems in terms of access to education. Learning has moved online and many students’ families can’t afford to give them smartphones or Internet, which could be the reason for them dropping out of school. Their parents may not confirm RTE admissions as they are waiting for offline lectures to begin and then send children to school. Also, in many cases, schools are harassing parents by not giving them time or proper answers, demanding fees despite free admission, which is also the reason for not confirming RTE admissions. The Education department must follow up with each of these parents to find out the reason,” said Mukund Kirdat, education activist and city unit chief of AAP.
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