In a major disappointment to parents looking for free seats for their children in city schools, the lottery for the second round of admissions for the 25% reserved seats did not take place on Monday.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) put the second round on hold indefinitely after its reports revealed that more than 170 schools did not admit any of the children allotted to them in the first round of admissions.
In its second year, the online admission process is conducted for seats reserved at the entry-level of the city’s non-minority, unaided schools as per the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009.
The BMC report showed that though 2,596 students were allotted seats in 284 schools in the first round, nearly 175 schools did not admit any student. Among these schools, 21 were Marathi-medium schools and the rest were from English medium.
“We decided not to conduct lottery for the next round on Monday, as we found a large number of schools have not admitted students in the first round,” said an official from the BMC education department. “We are trying to address the problem before moving to the next round.”
Many schools have not admitted students allotted to them for Class 1 this year, as it is not their entry-level. Schools were allotted students for kindergarten and Class 1 this year because they had not filled up their quota in the past. Since the RTE act states that the 25% quota is applicable only at the entry-level, schools have refused to admit students to any other classes.
“Our admissions for Class 1 are already over. So we cannot accommodate RTE students there. We will only admit students to Junior KG, which is our entry-level,” said an official from a school in Mulund.
St Anthony’s High School, Dharavi, has not admitted any children yet. Parents complained the school is following its own timetable and has called them to secure admission on April 23, while the last date for admissions as per the BMC schedule was April 18.
“The timetable was wrongly announced by a clerk without the consent of the head teacher or manager,” said
Father George Athide, secretary, Archdiocesan Board of Education, that governs the school. “We have called parents for admission on Tuesday.”
The school has refused to admit children allotted to them for Junior KG. “We will only admit 17 students allotted in Class 1. Junior KG is not our entry-level,” Athide said.
Some schools said children did not show up for admissions. “Out of 25 students allotted to us, only four approached us for admissions. The rest did not turn up,” said Manjul Choudhary, headmistress, Bulbul English School, Goregaon.