Students from economically weaker sections, who get admission to schools under the Right to Education (RTE) quota, may have a late start to school this year as well.
Though admissions to regular seats have almost drawn to a close in many Mumbai schools, RTE admissions have not even begun, as schools have not received the schedule for conducting the online process.
The state school education department had promised to release the schedule for admissions for the upcoming academic year by December 2014, but that is yet to happen.
“December is long over, but we have not received the circular from the department,” said Sudha Nair, principal, Vile Parle Mahila Sangh School.
Nair said last year too, RTE admissions had started in April and the various rounds continued till August-September, which resulted in students missing out on the first few months of the academic year.
“RTE students could not attend classes for nearly half of the academic year last time,” said SM Paranjape, member of Anudanit Shiksha Bachao Samiti, a non government organisation helping parents with RTE admissions. “This is unfair to them, especially as most of them are first-generation learners.”
The NGO has demanded that the government should ensure RTE admissions are conducted before regular admissions. “These admissions need to be conducted before regular ones, so that schools do not fill up reserved RTE seats with regular students,” he said.
S Chokhalingam, in-charge education commissioner said they are trying to start the admissions by February. “We have submitted two proposals to the government, about changes to the online admissions. Unless those are cleared, we cannot begin admissions,” said Chokhalingam.
Under the Right to Education Act, 2009, unaided, non-minority schools are to reserve 25% seatsat their entry level for economically weaker students.