For 7,408 vacant seats across Maharashtra under the Right to Education Act, 6,972 applications were selected by the state school department. Of these, 250 applications belonged to Mumbai district. Those whose applications have been selected will receive an SMS from September 11 and can confirm admission till September 21, said joint director of primary education Dinkar Temkar.
Nearly 1.40 lakh applications under the Right to Education Act were considered for the fresh round of lottery conducted by the department on Monday. It was the fourth lottery round conducted for the present academic year.
Under the RTE Act, certain aided private schools are mandated to reserve 25 per cent of their seats at the entry-level for children from economically weak families. The government reimburses the fees of these students.
School education minister Ashish Shelar last week had announced that the deadline for admissions under RTE would be extended. “7,408 RTE admissions slots were vacant in 2,727 schools across Maharashtra,” Shelar had tweeted. Explaining that not all seats under RTE will be filled, Temkar said, “There are limited places in each school, and sometimes the applications for a particular school exceed the capacity. In such cases admissions cannot be given. Then there are schools with more seats than applicants, which leads to vacant seats. Only when there is a match between preference of an applicant and a vacant seat, admissions happen.”
Meanwhile, parents are anxious about securing a seat in the lottery, since three months have already passed since all schools have begun their academic year. If the admissions don’t take place, the child may have to lose a year. Housewife Najma Pathan, a resident of Andheri west said she had been hopeful about securing a seat for her six-year-old son Armaan. “When my child’s name didn’t come up in the first two lotteries, I went from school to school seeking a direct admission, but most of them sent me away saying there were no seats. It was too late,” she said.
Sanjay Yadav, a salesman, said that an admission through the process would help ease his financial burden. “My financial capacity has been down since some time and I have been eagerly waiting for a seat for my child. After all, it is important to make him study. I don’t know what to do next if his name doesn’t come up on September 11,” he said.
Some parents have also complained of mistreatment of their children after having secured admission for their children in popular schools. A carpenter Devnath Vishwakarma, whose daughters study in the third standard said that the school refused to give the mandated uniform and books to his daughters. “Out of 16 study books, they were given only three, along with some notebooks. After many arguments, the uniforms that were given were small in size. The school continues to trouble us every now and then,” he said.
A dharna was staged on August 29 and 30 by members of Anudanit Shikshan Bachao Samiti for implementation of orders under grievance redressal system. “However, the members were assured by a staff of the education department Vaishali Shinde that adequate action will be done. The deputy director of education hasn’t met us despite our appeals,” member K Narayanan said.