Fewer seats will be available this year to students looking for admission under the Right to Education (RTE) quota. Six schools have pulled out of the online admission process, while others have reduced their in-take capacity.
Parents and activists fear this will cause the number of applicants to exceed the number of seats.
According to the BMC officials, this year, 6,500 RTE seats will be up for grabs in 306 schools. The numbers stood at 8,223 seats in 312 schools last year.
Under the RTE Act, 2009, 25% seats are reserved in unaided non-minority schools for students from economically weaker sections. The seats are reserved from kindergarten to Class 1.
“We have been forced to exclude six schools, as they have submitted minority certificates,” said Sambhavi Jogi, education officer, BMC primary education department. “Minority schools do not have to follow the 25% quota.”
Parents are worried the chances of their child securing a seat under the quota have reduced. Applicants can only apply to schools within three kilometres of their residence. “Last year, there were only three schools in our neighbourhood where we could apply under the quota,” said Samir Shaikh, a parent from Sion. “This year, only two schools will be eligible.”
The BMC authorities are also expecting an increase in the number of applications this year.
Application process for the online admissions will start on February 23 and continue up to March 7. Schools will start registering from February 16.