News and views about the implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 and other legislation, schemes and policies impacting the Right to Education of India's Children.
As many as 326 seats are still vacant under the economic weaker section (EWS) and disadvantaged groups quota in 35 unaided recognised private schools of the city. The District Education Office (DEO) of the UT education department, on an average, receives three applications a day pertaining to EWS admissions in different private schools.
These seats are meant for admissions to the entry level classes and come under the 25 per cent quota, as prescribed in the RTE Act. The department will continue with EWS and disadvantaged groups admissions till the time it feels that private schools have made sufficient effort to admit such students.
The education department has already directed the schools not to convert the quota seats into general category 'till further orders'. Earlier, over 400 seats were lying vacant in the private schools under the EWS category. Of these over 340 seats are vacant in 35 recognised unaided private schools and above 54 in 13 minority schools.
After a public notice was issued by the education department on March 18 seeking applications from EWS families and the disadvantaged groups for admissions to schools, the department had received 227 applications.
Talking to Chandigarh Newsline, DEO Ram Kumar Sharma said, "We have instructed the schools not to convert the seats into the general category, as we are still receiving applications from EWS families. Our priority is to implement the RTE Act in its totality."
Adding to it, he said, "As soon as we receive applications, we mark it to the principals concerned and also hand over a copy to the parents, just to bring in transparency".
Moreover, to create awareness among the EWS families, National Students Union of India (NSUI), one of the students outfits of Panjab University, has been holding awareness camps at various places. They have already organised camps in Sector 38, Dadumajra and Sector 25, and submitted representations with the higher authorities, including education secretary and director public instructions (schools) with regard to EWS admissions.
"We have already collected around 70 applications and soon we will be submitting them at the DEO office. We will hold more camps to apprise people of their right to education as provided by the RTE Act," NSUI member Sunny Mehta said.