Use of the RTE app yet to pick up, but Pune district is leading
“In Pune, in the past two-three years, many NGOs and organisations like ours have been working to spread awareness about RTE. Thus, the number of applications, through any medium, are usually quite large in the city every year,” RTE activist Mukund Kirdat of AAP Palak Union said.
PUNE: In the first year that the government introduced a mobile application for admissions under Right to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, hardly 780 students have filled their online application forms through the app. However, out of this number, the maximum, that is 202 applications come from Pune district itself.
Albeit, compared to the whopping number of 2,20,651 applicants, 780 is a small number of parents who prefer to fill their forms on their smartphones. “In Pune, in the past two-three years, many NGOs and organisations like ours have been working to spread awareness about RTE. Thus, the number of applications, through any medium, are usually quite large in the city every year,” RTE activist Mukund Kirdat of AAP Palak Union said.
He said that out of the 16,594 vacancies in the district under RTE, close to 50 per cent are in the city itself. “The flow of applications is higher for the city schools compared to the rural areas in Pune districts This comes from more awareness in the city that is clearly lacking in other cities and rural areas in the State,” he added.
Before the process of RTE admissions began in the state, Dinkar Temkar, Joint Education Director (Primary) had stated that the mobile app was introduced as a parent-friendly option to fill the forms.
“It would allow the parents to fill their forms sitting at their homes.”
Also, that would help locate the exact address of the child on the portal/app, and thus would help locate the schools within a three-four kilometre radius,” Temkar had told Sakal Times.
However, the activist believes that going to a cyber cafe and filling the form is still an easier option for the parents.
“Even though there is awareness, many parents still need help while filling the forms, and they are the ones who go to the help centres and NGOs to get their forms filled. Also, spending Rs 100 to go and fill the form at a cyber cafe seems much more convenient than doing it on a smartphone,” Kirdat explained.