Only 3,392 of the 7,491 RTE seats in Mumbai filled so far
More than half of the seats reserved under the 25% Right to Education (RTE) quota across schools in Mumbai remain vacant this academic year after the end of three admission rounds.
The education department, in its data released on Saturday revealed that only 3,392 students have taken admissions under the quota, as against the 7,491 seats available across 365 schools in the city. The education department had received 11,629 applications under the quota. The education department has not given any clarity on the rest of the applications yet.
Under the RTE Act, all unaided non-minority schools have to reserve 25% seats at the entry level for students from socially and economically-weaker backgrounds.
Activists have alleged that the government has made the admission process more cumbersome, owing to which, only a few applications are translating into admissions.
“This year, the BMC education department has formed a committee to verify the allotment process and the documents of the applicants who have been allotted seats. In many cases, applications have been rejected without giving a reason in writing,” said Sudhir Paranjape from Anudanit Shiksha Bachao Samiti, an NGO working in the field of education.
“Many parents complain about schools denying admissions to their wards, but the education department has not been hearing their grievances on an urgent basis, owing to which, students are kept away from schools,” he added.
An official from the education department however, said that the committee is only made to facilitate a smooth admission process.
“It only acts as a mediator between the school and the parent and tells parents what to do if the school denies admission on any ground. Its job is to also ensure that schools do not deny admissions without having a legitimate reason to do so,” said Prakash Charate, deputy education officer at BMC education department.
Lot of ground to cover