Pune: The online registration for admissions under Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act 2009 for the new academic year 2018-19 will begin from January 24. However, private schools have shown their displeasure over RTE admission since the government has failed to pay their dues. They have threatened that they might stop the RTE admission process in their schools if their demands are not met.
As per schedule, all schools will have to register with RTE by January 20, followed by their registration on January 22 and 23 before the admissions begin on the 24th.
While admissions will be held by lottery system as usual, it will be mandatory for students to take admissions at the schools allotted to them in the first phase itself.
Private schools discontent
Speaking to Sakal Times, Jagruti Dharmadhikari, President of Independent English Schools Association, said, “Firstly, the government has failed to provide us with our due compensation for the 25 per cent seats that we reserve for RTE. Moreover, according to a recently released GR, the government has determined Rs 17,670 per student in Std I to VIII, as the upper limit for the compensation to be provided to the schools. For many schools, this amount is much lower than the actual cost of educating each student.”
Dharmadhikari said that IESA has already given legal notice to the government for the same, and is planning to soon issue another legal notice. If the government fails to respond positively, the private schools might stop the RTE admission procedure.
RTE challenges to be addressed
Speaking about the challenges ahead of RTE admissions this year, education activist Matin Mujawar of Shikshan Hakka Manch said, “Last year, many students, who were selected through RTE, failed to get admissions, mainly due to the schools’ non-cooperative attitude. Moreover, this year, many ZP schools have been shut down by the government. I hope that all the children manage to get admissions to schools, and as the government has said while shutting down so many schools in the State, I hope they manage to receive ‘quality’ education.”
He also pointed out to the fact that the government’s inability to provide the private schools with the promised compensation for the 25 per cent seats is another reason why schools harass RTE parents and deny admissions to these children, and this issue has to be addressed by the government as soon as possible to save the future of many children.
“Lack of awareness is a major hurdle in the RTE admission procedure in our country, especially in rural areas. And we don’t really see the government taking any extra efforts to improve this situation, even as the new year’s admissions are right around the corner now. The government should try to indulge different media, including television, radio and internet to spread awareness amongst the public to avail their right to education,” he further added.