Wednesday, January 29, 2014

'Mumbai schools not ready for RTE online admissions'


'Mumbai schools not ready for RTE online admissions'



MUMBAI: The state education department may have announced that entry-level admissions to schools under the Right to Education (RTE) Act will go online in Mumbai and Pune from February 15, but institutes here seem to be completely unprepared for it. The online system is supposed to be held in Pune and Mumbai on a trial basis, but schools here have not even received a formal circular.

For the rest of the state, the RTE admission will also begin on February 15, but the procedure will be manual.

After it was declared that admission to entry-level classes in schools under the Right to Education (RTE) Act will go online from the next academic year, another announcement came from the Pune education director's office that the online procedure will be held for Mumbai and Pune schools from February 15 this year, on a trial basis. For the rest of the state, the admission process, which will be begin on the same date, will be manual.

Officials in the Mumbai division of the education department told TOI that it might be difficult to conduct online admissions this session. "Our officials have not been trained. At such a short notice, we will not manage to get people to conduct the process," said a senior education official, adding at present, the Mumbai division education department is short of the required manpower.

Principals, too, were taken aback by the new announcement. "Admission to reserved seats under the RTE Act is meant for students from socially and economically backward classes but the education department expects them to apply online. No one has any clue about the process, including school and education officials. This is not practical," said Ramakant Pandey, principal of Bansidhar Aggarwal School in Wadala. He added this would only confuse parents.

Even non-state board schools are worried about the admissions creating problems for seats that have already been slotted. "Our session starts by April. We started admissions for the other seats. We will try to follow the new process as long as it doesn't affect the admissions that have already been conducted," said the principal of an ICSE school in Bandra.

The education department is expected to send the circular to schools by February 1.

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