Despite the fiasco over the 25 per cent quota admissions for students from the economically weaker sections under Right to Education (RTE) Act last year, the education department seems to have learnt no lessons. After delaying the 2016-17 admission process for weeks by claiming to come up with a new software, the primary education department finally announced that the statewide schedule for RTE admissions starting with school registrations would begin from February 27 in Pune.
However, despite the last date (March 5) coming to an end by when schools were supposed to have finished the registration process, the online website developed specifically for this purpose wasn’t allowing any schools to register. Thanks to a software glitch, not a single school in the district has finished the registration process.
While a few schools have been informed about the delay in the process informally, the department, which issued an official communication about the last schedule, is yet to announce a new schedule officially, leaving both schools and even parents in confusion. In the online RTE admission process, first school registration has to be completed wherein schools have to fill data about their entry point and total intake based on which education department gets an area-wise data on number of RTE quota seats available. This will be followed by online registration by parents of their children and lastly lots will be drawn for allotting seats. In this case, the first process itself has not yet started.
“The entire issue that arose last year was due to a lack of timetable and planning. It’s a good move that they are coming out with a new software. But if the dates are being extended or delayed, shouldn’t they inform all stakeholders through a public announcement?
According to the last announcement, parents were to begin registration from March 8. Yesterday, one parent came to my school and said he wanted to register and I explained to him he had to do it online. But from Monday, if they aren’t able to do that, again chaos will begin,” said Nandkumar Kakirde, director and honorary secretary of Bal Shikshan Bhavan.
Anvit Sudheer Pathak, director of Milennium School, also confirmed he wasn’t able to register but said he had been informally communicated that registrations would be delayed. “But they should come out with a circular to avoid the confusion which other schools might naturally be facing,” Pathak said.
Meanwhile, Dinkar Temkar, deputy director of education (primary), admitted to the delay in the process which he blamed on technical glitches in the new software. “We had earlier expected to finish the process of school registration by March 5, but it could not be done. So I think there would be some minor delays in the process. Currently, we have resolved the issue and started school registration only in Nashik district. If it is successfully done there, rest of the districts would follow suit from next week,” he said. However, when asked if a fixed date had been decided for the process to begin in Pune, Temkar said the picture would be clearer by Saturday evening about the Nashik situation after which further dates would be declared.