The admission for 25 per cent reservation under the Right to Education (RTE) for the economically and socially backward students in the state will go online from the next academic year. This has, however, irked activists and parents. who alleged that the process gives freedom to school managements to fix the entry level for admission.
An official from the education department said that as per the RTE admission procedure, once the education department announces the schedule, the parents of the beneficiary students will have to fill up forms with details and choice of schools. These forms have to be submitted to the nearest help centre.
After receiving all the forms, documents are scrutinised by the officers and a list of eligible candidates is announced. The eligible candidates will then be allotted schools and a notification will be sent on the cellphone of parents, who will have to then confirm the admission of their ward in the selected school, said the official.
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Different age groups of children seeking admissions posed a challenge last year and hence the decision to enforce uniform age across boards from next academic year was taken in a government resolution (GR) issued on Wednesday. According to the GR, the software of the admission portal shall only accept admissions of students aged above 5.4 to 6.4 years to be enrolled to Class I.
While the last date for schools to register in the portal is February 3, many schools are yet to register.
Meanwhile, parents and educational activists complained that of all the schools registered on the portal, 99% schools have mentioned class I as entry point. “There are many parents who are seeking admissions to kindergarten, and the new process will close admissions to them as 99% schools on the portal have mentioned class I as their entry point. Since February 3 is the deadline for schools to register, there doesn’t seem to be any scope for changes. We will not accept this. Schools which have kindergarten attached should have Jr. KG as entry point,” said Sudhir Paranjape of Anudanit Shiksha Bachao Andolan.
An official from BMC’s education department said, “The state school education department had clarified that since RTE mandates free and compulsory education to EWS students between age-group of 6-14, government will not reimburse fees for students below age of six years. Hence school managements have themselves fixed the entry level at class I.” Another education activist Jayant Jain of Forum for Fairness in Education alleged: “Even though the state government claims that the admissions have been made online to bring in transparency in the process and facilitate EWS students, the portal is likely to cover up many violations.”