Poor students who live within a 1km radius of elite schools will now be able to find a seat in their spacious classrooms. If there are not enough children within that distance, the radius will be first extended to 3km and then 5km.
The state cabinet on Wednes-day approved the implementation of the 25% reservation for poor students in private schools under Right To Education (RTE) Act from this academic year. It has, however, referred the issue of defining the income limit of the economically backward to the law and judiciary department. The limit will be finalised in the next two to three days, said the government.
“The Act has to be implemented. Schools will have no option but to participate. Of the reserved seats, half will be allotted to disadvantaged groups and the remaining to those from the economically backward class,” said chief minister Prithviraj Chavan. Disadvantaged groups include SC/ST, handicapped and female students.
The 25% reservation will be applicable to 88,356 schools, which includes government, private aided and unaided, and minority aided schools in the state. Currently, these schools have 3,75,391 seats at the entry level. Of these, 93,848 seats should ideally be reserved for poor children. But with the admission process already over in many schools, it is not yet clear how many of these seats are still vacant for poor students. As per the April 12 Supreme Court ruling, admissions that have been completed should not be reopened. The education department has now asked schools to advertise their vacancies as part of their plan to implement the reservation from this year.
Chavan added that the state would reimburse up to Rs11,000 per student, per year. This would cost about Rs 96 crore.
Schools will have to put out notices and advertisements declaring the number of vacant seats in Class 1 or pre-primary section
Children from the neighbourhood within a 1km radius can send applications to these schools. This radius will be extended to 3km and then 5km, depending on the response
Admissions will take place through a lottery system. The lottery will be done in the presence of a committee consisting of parent-teachers association (PTA) members, school management and government officials.