Adding to the confusion over admissions to the Right to Education (RTE) seats, the Maharashtra education department has now decided to allow schools to cancel admissions of students admitted to kindergarten if they have also admitted students in Class 1.
On April 16, education minister Vinod Tawde announced the scrapping of the two-layer entry system followed during the online admissions this year. Schools were given the freedom to choose their own entry level. However, many schools, following the old rule, had divided their RTE seats between kindergarten and Class 1.
Principal secretary of the department, Nandkumar, said the decision was taken in a meeting between Tawde, school owners and education officials on Monday. “As we are not going to reimburse schools for RTE students in kindergarten, they are free to cancel their admissions,” said Nandkumar. “These students can be re-admitted next year.”
However, schools will not be able to cancel admissions of Class 1 students. “We are recognising Class 1 as the official entry level, for which schools will be reimbursed,” said Nandkumar.
City schools said they are considering switching their entry-level to Class 1 and cancelling the admission of kindergarten students. “It will be a huge financial burden to admit students to kindergarten classes when the government will not pay us for them,” said Satish Lotlikar, managing trustee, Indian Education Society’s Manik Vidyamandir School, Bandra.
Education activists are unhappy with the decision as it will be difficult for students to find admissions to other schools now. “Most schools have completed their admission process, these parents cannot afford to pay donations and fees of other schools,” said Sudhir Paranjape, member, Anudanit Shiksha Bachav Samiti, an NGO.?