Saturday, March 8, 2014

1,200 seats under RTE lying vacant in Nashik

NASHIK: Over 1,200 seats in Nashik schools, reserved under the 25 per cent quota of the Right to Education Act (RTE), 2009, remain vacant. This, three months since the schools reopened and eight months since the admission process was initiated.

The final list of the 25 per cent reservation in schools is ready with the education department of the Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC). As per this list, there are vacancies in 60 per cent of the schools, with 1,214 seats being vacant.

According to statistics available from the state education department, a total of 2,907 seats in Nashik are reserved under the scheme.

Seventy-nine schools had started the admission process since January 2013. The list has admission details of 48 schools in the city, out of which, there are 488 vacancies in pre-primary schools and 726 vacancies in Standard I.

Schools have proffered various reasons to the NMC's education department for this lacuna, ranging from guardians unwilling to come forward for admitting their wards to hoax applications. The education department has said that the admissions could be conducted anytime, since the specific 25 per cent of seats reserved under the RTE cannot be filled up by other candidates.

"We will keep admitting students as and when they come. There is no deadline, because we have to encourage students from economically weaker families to get educated from good schools. But schools have not received sufficient applications," an official of the NMC's education department told TOI on Friday.

Kumudini Bangera, headmistress of Horizon Academy said, "We had received only four to five applications under the quota. When we counter-checked the authenticity of the details provided by the applicants, we found discrepancies. Some did not stay within the 1km radius of the school as specified and had given the address of their relative or family friend, while some forged salary slips. How can we offer admissions under such circumstances?"

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