After receiving a lukewarm response to the initial round of admissions under the Right to Education (RTE) Act in Indore district, the education department is all set to conduct the second round of admissions on April 17.
Under the Act, 25% of the seats in private schools (affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education as well as the MP board) should be reserved for children belonging to economically weaker sections of the society.
Officials in the education department admitted that there were few takers for the 21,733 seats reserved as per the provisions of the RTE Act in 1,390 private schools (1,144 in urban and 246 in rural areas) in the district.
RTE incharge of Indore district AK Bendwal said only 14.36% of the total seats were filled in the opening round held on February 3.
"Hopefully the situation will improve in the second round," he anticipated.
In the first round of the admissions, only 1,752 seats were filled in the 1,144 schools in urban areas as 11,817 seats remained vacant.
However, schools in rural areas performed better than their urban counterparts as 16.78% of the total number of seats available at private schools in Indore rural, Mhow, Depalpur and Sanwer tehsil were filled after the first round of the admission process.
Out of the total 8,164 seats available in rural areas, 1,370 seats have been filled.
When asked as to why Indore urban lagged behind Indore rural in RTE admissions, he said parents preferred renowned CBSE schools in urban areas.
Bendwal said 18,611 seats in the private schools of Indore district, including Indore urban and rural, Sanwer tehsil, Depalpur tehsil and Mhow tehsil, would remain available and students fulfilling the RTE norms could apply for admissions.