RTE students missing out on quota as parents unaware | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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RTE students missing out on quota as parents unaware

With just three days to go for the June 10 deadline for schools to fill up seats under the 25% reservation for poor students, several city schools said on Wednesday that they had not received enough applications.

mumbai Updated: Jun 07, 2012 01:57 IST

With just three days to go for the June 10 deadline for schools to fill up seats under the 25% reservation for poor students, several city schools said on Wednesday that they had not received enough applications.

Schools have to admit students from the economically weaker sections to 25% of their seats in Class 1 or the entry level under the Right to Education (RTE) Act. However, school authorities said that they had not received enough applications owing to lack of awareness among those eligible for admission under the quota. On May 30, the school education department issued circulars to schools asking them to admit students from families with an annual income of less than Rs1 lakh and those who stay within a one-kilometre radius, by June 10.

“Though we are still in the process of determining the number of vacant seats at the entry level, no applications have come to us in this regard yet,” said Amol Dhamdhare, honourary secretary, Indian Education Society, which runs 50 schools in the city.

Families that have applied for admission under the quota said they were struggling with the formalities. “While we have been reading about the RTE Act in the news, we are still unsure about the procedure for admissions and the documents needed,” said Savlaram Shelar, a Goregaon resident, who earns Rs7,000 a month and wants his three-year-old daughter to study in a private school.

“Not many low-income families are aware of how to go about admissions under the quota,” said PR Pawar, education inspector, west zone. “They need to show a caste certificate and an income certificate, but not many would have applied for these documents. School can reject admissions if these documents are not provided,” he added.

Educationists claimed lack of awareness about the welfare measure might defeat the purpose of the Act. “Many parents are not aware of how to take advantage of this provision. The government should have spread awareness about it,” said Arundhati Chavan, president, Parent Teacher Association (PTA) United Forum.