The admissions under Right to Education (RTE) will again be delayed this year.
Although the Maharashtra government has now made Class 1 as the entry point for those applying under RTE quota, schools have still not confirmed admissions of more than 900 Class 1 students.
With schools shut for summer vacations, the completion of the online admissions — which began in February — will be pushed to June.
Schools have not yet admitted students in the first round.
Out of 1,477 students allotted seats in Class 1, only 548 students have been admitted so far, said officials of the education department, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Parents complained that schools turned them away even though their wards had been allotted seats in Class 1. “My child was allotted a seat in a Dadar school. I submitted the documents on April 7 but they still refused admission,” said Santoshi Nadar, a resident of Dharavi.
Another parent, Zamir Siddiqui, said his child was allotted seats in two schools. “The school I approached told me that they did not have seats available,” said Siddiqui. “The other school is too far from my house.”
Now, parents will have to wait till schools reopen in the first week on June.
“Many schools had problems admitting students to pre-primary and Class 1 but after the April 30 government resolution, schools are now required to admit students in Class 1 only. But, they have not done that,” said Sambhavi Jogi, education officer, BMC. “Till the pending admissions are cleared, we cannot conduct the second lottery."
Education activists said the delay would mean that the RTE students would start the academic year late. “It was the same story last year. The admission process dragged on till August. Many students started school in September-November while their counterparts had started school in June itself,” said K Narayan, secretary of the Anudanit Shiksha Bachao Samiti, a non-governmental organisation.
Narayan said strict action should be taken against errant schools. “Even though the government has scrapped RTE for pre-primary section, schools are still unwilling to admit students in Class 1,” said Narayan. “Unless the department takes action against these schools, they will not follow RTE Act.”
Total seats available under RTE quota online admissions: 11,000
Number of applications received: 4, 089
First lottery conducted: April 2
Number of students allotted seats in the first lottery: 2,596
Number of students allotted seats in Class 1: 1,477
Last date to secure admissions: April 23
Number of students admitted in Class 1: 548 (as of Tuesday afternoon)
Number of pre-primary seats that will have to be cancelled: 1,119
following the new decision to implement RTE from Class 1
On April 16: Education minister Vinod Tawde declared that the entry system will be scrapped and schools will have the choice to admit students in pre-primary or Class 1. But schools will have to bear the expenses for pre-primary.
On April 27: Tawde told the BMC that schools are free to cancel admissions to pre-primary section. Tawde promised to issue a GR the next day but did not.
On April 28 and 29: The Bombay high court directed the state government to reimburse schools for admitting pre-primary students under RTE quota. The department decided to fix Class 1 as entry-point as they cannot afford to pay.
On April 30: A government resolution was issued to reserve 25% RTE seats from Class 1, scrapping it for pre-primary. Students will be able to take admission under the quota when they reach Class 1.