The state education department on Monday gave schools a two-week extension on their deadline to enroll children from weaker sections in the 25% seats reserved for them under the Right to Education (RTE) Act.
Schools claimed that they did not get enough applications to fill the quota by June 10, the deadline the state government had previously set. Principals said that they had not received enough applications owing to lack of awareness among the beneficiaries of 25% quota.
“We will give schools at least two weeks to comply with all the norms under the RTE Act, which also includes the 25% reservation. If they do not follow the deadline, they could be de-recognised,” said Sanjay Deshmukh, director, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. The decision to extend the deadline was taken after a two-day conference organised by UNICEF and the state government in Lonavala.
At Anjuman-i- Islam’s Saif Tyabji Girls’ High School in Byculla, the school has reserved 25% seats for poor students, but the school has not received a single application. “We have extended the date and will keep seats till June 20. If we still do not find applicants, I will be in a fix,” said Najma Kazi, the principal.
However, some principals claim they do not have vacant seats to enroll the students. “Our admission procedure started last November and all seats were filled in December,” said Kavita Aggrawal, principal, DG Khetan International School, Malad.
According to the Act, schools were also supposed to re-affirm their recognition with the state education department. They have a month to do this.