Going back on its earlier statement, the school education department has once again asked schools to keep the unfilled seats in the 25% Right to Education quota open throughout the year.
Rajendra Darda, school education minister had previously stated that schools can turn unfilled seats to the open category after the second round of admissions.
School education and sports minister JS Saharia claims that he has issued a circular saying that even if the seats are unfilled, schools cannot admit non-economically weaker section (EWS) students in them.
“The RTE is very clear that even if the seats are not filled, schools should keep them vacant. Schools will have to admit EWS students whenever they receive their applications throughout the year,’’ said Saharia.
The government has also removed the July 31 deadline on RTE admissions (seats remaining unfilled after this date were supposed to be turned into open category).
DYFI activists staged a protest by occupying the school education minister’s office in Bal Bhavan, Charni Road.
“The percentage of seats in private schools filled through RTE in three years is less than 5% in Mumbai,’’ said Preethy Sekhar, DYFI president
Schools, meanwhile, are clueless as to what policy to follow and say that they have not even received this new circular.
The circular has also not yet been uploaded on the department’s website.
“The government is constantly changing its mind over the RTE rules. This is confusing us and hampering the RTE implementation,’’ said Satish Lotlikar, of the Manik Vidya Mandir School, Bandra.