The school education department has directed schools to fill 25% seats reserved under the Right to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act with students from economically backward sections of society or keep them vacant. The June 22 directive is effective from this academic year.
Last year, many schools had filled up seats that were vacant after admissions under RTE with regular students, in violation of the act. The act mandates schools to reserve 25% seats for students from economically weaker sections of society and the education department has been announcing the admission schedule for these seats since last year.
The education department had issued a notice telling schools to keep admissions open through the year, and admit children from disadvantaged backgrounds as and when they apply. "Schools must continue the admission process until all seats (reserved under RTE) are filled. They cannot run the admission process once and admit regular students to fill vacant reserved seats. Schools will be reimbursed only for seats that have been filled," Mane said.
Education officers in every district will conduct monthly reviews of school admissions.
"Many schools have expressed disappointment with the directive," Mane said.
A school principal said, "We do not want to flout norms, yet we will suffer due to the sta-te's decision."