Friday, January 24, 2014

Help at hand for RTE online admissions

Help at hand for RTE online admissions

Vishwas Kothari, TNN Jan 3, 2014, 02.11AM IST

PUNE: A helpdesk will be set up for every cluster of 10-15 unaided schools, which will assist parents who are not familiar with the online admission process for the 25% seats reserved under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009. The quota is for children from economically weaker and disadvantaged sections of the society.
From the academic year 2014-15, the government has declared a pilot initiative of online admission system for the 25% seats at all private unaided schools within the civic limits of Pune, Nagpur and Mumbai. Admissions are to commence in February and March for the schools starting classes from April and June respectively. There are over 40 private unaided non-minority schools within the limits of the Pune municipal corporation.
State director of primary education Mahaveer Mane said on Thursday, "Our staff at the helpdesks will assist parents who may find it difficult to understand and follow the online process for filling up and submitting forms. The system will be in place for unaided schools in Pune, Mumbai and Nagpur."
Mane, however, reiterated that there will be no time-bound admission schedule for pre-primary and primary admissions this year. "The government will definitely introduce such a schedule from academic year 2015-16," he said.
Pre-primary and primary admission process at several schools in the city was disrupted last month when the education department initially declared a stay till a time-bound admission schedule is out. The department later lifted the stay on the grounds that a new admission policy will be introduced from AY 2015-16.
"There is no restriction, whatsoever, on the schools that fall within the RTE ambit, to fill up 75% of their seats," he said.
According to Mane, schools run by government, local self-governing bodies or those private schools which receive salary and non-salary grant in aide from the government are bound by the statutory provision of reserving 52% of their total sanctioned intake. This includes seats for Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, Vimukta Jamati (denotified tribes), Notified Tribes, Other Backward Classes and special backward classes. Private unaided non-minority schools are bound to implement the RTE norm of 25% quota for the weaker and disadvantaged children.
"The Bombay high court has held recently that the RTE Act is not applicable to private unaided minority schools. As such, these schools will remain out of the 25% quota ambit," said Mane.
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