Wednesday, February 12, 2014

'No entry-level school admissions till Jan-end'

'No entry-level school admissions till Jan-end'

Shreya Bhandary, TNN Nov 23, 2013, 12.20AM IST

MUMBAI: Parents anxiously waiting for schools to start giving admission forms will have to wait longer this year. The state education department has announced that entry level admissions for the 2014-15 academic year cannot be held from November 2013 to January 2014. Officials said the decision will help bring much-needed uniformity in school admissions, especially those done under the Right to Education (RTE) Act quota.
"The trend of conducting admissions 6-7 months before the start of the academic session serves no purpose. Instead, it adds to stress for parents and children. Admissions can easily be conducted a month before the start of the session," said Mahavir Mane, director, primary education. He said that like last year, this year too the education department will release an admission schedule that will have to be followed by schools across the state.
In a conference held in Pune on Thursday, education officials announced that admissions will be conducted through a centralized online process. "Every year, numerous complaints come from parents who feel victimized by schools. Centralized admissions will bring discipline to the process," said Mane. The software is ready and a test run has been conducted, he said. "It looks good and hopefully we will start the process in April next year."
The online process will be similar to junior college admissions, where parents fill a candidate's information on a form generated on the admissions website and fill in the school preference. Based on preferences and availability of seats, admissions will be granted.
Once again, speculating on last-minute changes by the education department, most schools have decided to start admissions only in late January or after that. "We'll be busy with examinations in January. So, admissions will have to wait till February. Hopefully, all the changes the education department is thinking about should be out before that," said Brian Seymour, principal, G D Somani School, Cuffe Parade. Most state board school principals have decided to wait till the education department releases the admission schedule. "We will follow all orders by the education department and that includes admissions in the 25% RTE quota. We'll conduct our admissions in May 2014," said Fr Francis Swamy, principal, Holy Family High School, Andheri (East).

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