Mumbai: Parents of students securing admissions under the Right to Education (RTE) Act have been warned by the education department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) from forging their financial documents. The department has warned all parents from not picking and choosing the schools as it blocks available seats and affects the chances of admission of other students.
Last year, there were over 4,000 seats vacant under RTE admissions. Authorities of the education department claimed seats are vacant because parents try to submit fake documents to prove that their annual income is low. Mahesh Palkar, BMC Education officer said, “We have a thorough online screening process where we will check each and every document. We warn parents not to submit fake documents as it delays the process and keeps the seats occupied unnecessarily.”
Parents pick and choose the school according to their convenience in terms of daily commute, according to the civic education department. A senior officer managing the RTE admission process said, “Parents do not want to send their children to schools that are slightly far away. Instead of picking and choosing and blocking seats, parents should avail the benefit of RTE and take maximum leverage.”
Under the RTE Act, students between the age of six to 14 years from the weak economic backgrounds can secure free elementary education from class 1 to class 8 in private unaided schools. 25 per cent seats are reserved for these students, as their entire education, right from books to uniforms, is funded by the state government.
Parents revealed admissions they have irregular incomes and do not have documented proof of the same. Aziz Mahmood, a voluntary worker who assists parents in RTE admissions, said, “We often get cases of parents who do not have any documents to prove their annual income. Some of them work as labourers or domestic workers on daily wages and do not have a steady income. It is difficult for these parents to procure documents for RTE admissions.”
This year, the RTE admission process will begin on February 11 while the single lottery round will be conducted on March 11 and 12. The process will be completed by the end of May in order to start the academic year from June.