Of the total number of applicants allotted seats under the Economically Weaker Section in private schools in the city, over 18,000 did not report for admission in the 2018-19 session.
According to Education Department data, 45,000 seats are reserved for EWS category applicants at the entry level (nursery, KG and class I) in close to 1,700 private schools.
These schools have to reserve 25% of seats at entry level for students from EWS, disadvantaged and differently abled categories.
The department allots seats to more candidates than the total number of seats available as many applicants do not take admission in schools allotted to them.
Some barriers in school admission process
While the number of EWS category children getting admission in private schools is increasing, experts say claims of schools that many kids do not turn up for admission are false in some cases. Many a time, experts say, schools turn away parents who are not well informed. Lack of government help desks has also been flagged as a drawback of the computerised process.
The department received 1.28 lakh applications for the 2018-19 academic sessions. Despite holding nine draws of lots, it was able to fill 33,312 seats.
Around 12,000 that still remain vacant have been carried forward to next year.
“The rush for admissions is usually in the top 150-200 well-known schools. In many cases, after the first round of seat allotments after draw of lots, we realise there are no applications for a large number of tier 3 schools,” a department official said.
The last draw of lots for the quota was scheduled in December. The Education Department data says that at last count, there were 5,692 seats for which there were no applicants left as they had either taken admission in other schools or had decided not to avail the quota at all.
Close to 1,319 applications were rejected as parents of applicants did not have requisite documents, such as income certificate, caste certificate, disability certificate.
“The application process is completely online. One has the option to apply to as many schools as possible that lie within a 6-km radius of their house. A candidate can apply to only six schools beyond 6 km. If a child, for example, gets admission in a school that’s fairly well-known and close to her house, her application will stand withdrawn from other schools. In many cases, even after allotment, schools have informed us that many parents do not turn up to finalise admission formalities. These seats are then returned to the vacant pool in the next draw,” the official said.