‘Will sort out admissions issue amicably’

Rajendra Darda was appointed as the state’s minister for school education when the cabinet was reshuffled in November.

mumbai Updated: Dec 25, 2010 01:35 IST
Bhavya Dore
Bhavya Dore
Hindustan Times

Rajendra Darda was appointed as the state’s minister for school education when the cabinet was reshuffled in November. He is the first full-time school education minister since Vasant Purke held the portfolio three years ago.
Darda has many issues ahead of him, including implementing the Right To Education Act, overseeing junior college admissions that have been mired in legal battles in the past three years, and tackling the issue of school fee regulation in unaided schools.

What is happening with the implementation of the Right To Education Act?
We are finalising the rules necessary to implement the Act. Once the rules become finalised, various issues will be taken care of, including the 25 % admissions clause, the admissions policy for schools, and various other clauses. (The RTE Act requires unaided schools to reserve at least 25 % of their seats for neighbourhood students from disadvantaged backgrounds.) We received many suggestions on the draft rules of the Act and we will take them into account.

What is the status of the draft bill to regulate the fees of unaided schools in the state?
It is one of the major issues and we are in consultation with the law and judiciary department on the matter.

What plans does the government have for the online admissions system to junior college this year?
We will continue with the online system. Before we go for online admissions this year we will review last year’s admissions process. Wherever there were lacunae last year, we will ensure that those issues are taken care of this time.

What will be the policy for admitting students from different boards into junior college? Also, for the first time this year the board exam is optional for CBSE students.
We want to have a meeting with parents, experts and teachers from the different boards and we hope to sort out the issue amicably. With CBSE students who now have an optional board exam, it will be fine if they appear for the board exam in all five subjects, but if they go in for the system of continuous evaluation we will have to look into that system.

Similar to the CBSE, is there any thought of making the SSC board exam also optional?
No, at this moment there is no such thought.

What is the status on the government’s plan to map schools in the state?
School mapping is going on and it should be completed by January 15. Then we will have an idea about where there are schools and where we need more schools. We will then publish the details and invite proposals to set up unaided schools in those areas.

First Published: Dec 25, 2010 01:32 IST