It’s almost the end of the year and RTE (Right to education) admissions are now being conducted in Maharashtra. The delay of four months has made matters worse for parents and children seeking admissions in RTE schools.
In the Mumbai region, the total number of schools under RTE is 352. While 4,985 students were selected, only 3,106 were admitted and 233 students were rejected in the first round of selection. It turns out that 1,646 students, however, didn’t seek admission. In selection round 2, 1,198 students were selected, from which only 463 were admitted and 32 rejected. A total of 720 students didn’t seek admission. Out of 410 total seats in the third round (second waiting list), only 17 have been selected and more students can be admitted as the last date is November 20. The schools have been asked to complete all pending work as soon as possible, as no extension is expected this time.
An official from the administration department of BMC schools attributed the disrupted schedule to the pandemic. The official said, “The last year’s admissions were late, affecting this year's admission. Another reason is that when the first selection round was held many parents were out of town and could not admit their children.”
With the second waiting list round starting, many schools are trying to fill the vacancies. The official pointed out that there may only be two waiting lists. He said the next year’s RTE admissions will probably start in December itself.
Mohsin Haider, a former corporator who now conducts RTE awareness programmes for economically backward sections of society, said students have been badly affected by the delay. He added that if the seats are vacant at the entry time, they stay vacant till the end. “The remaining seats should be filled with RTE students only, so it is utilised in the best way,” he said.
Free Press Journal spoke to a person who helps parents fill out the forms. He said, “It is so difficult for backward sections to fill the form and they get easily rejected by schools. They are not even allowed to enter the schools sometimes.”
Parents, meanwhile, have been hoping their wards' names will appear in the next waiting list. One of the parents said he has visited the school many times but was always asked to come back the next day. “I don’t know what to do. My child has been sitting idle for the last few months in the hope of admission,” said another parent, who did not wish to be named. Most parents spoke on the condition of anonymity as they are scared it may cost their child’s future.
However, BMC education officials said if schools give any trouble related to verification, parents can approach the verification office, and address is provided on every allotment letter or admit card.