Private school managements have sought clarity from the Education Department on filling up of seats falling vacant after admissions under the 25 per cent quota prescribed by the Right To Education (RTE) Act.
Last year, when the Act came into force, out of a total of 1.16 lakh seats reserved under RTE quota, only 44,000 were filled according to sources in the Department.
“As a result of the ambiguity, number of seats under RTE either continued to remain vacant throughout the academic year or were filled by the school management themselves,” said Sudi Suresh, the Secretary of Karnataka State Private School Management Federation.
Conceding there has been ‘ambiguity,’ Commissioner of Public Instruction Umashankar said: “There is no clear rule on filling seats. However, the matter has been put forward to the government and orders awaited.”
The issue of vacant seats under the RTE quota was raised in the meeting between Karnataka Private Schools Joint Action Committee and the Department of Public Instruction, recently.
“We had asked the commissioner not to extend the date of admissions beyond March 31 as seats falling vacant after admissions would affect the finances and functioning,” said Sudi Suresh.
The commissioner dismissed any plan of extending dates for admissions under RTE beyond March 31.
This year’s admission under RTE quota is being viewed more positively by department officials. However the question of vacant seats is still a concern.
“While many CBSE and ICSE schools did not implement the Act last year, the rest were late in doing so. Everything is on schedule this year and we are in a much better position”, said Umashankar.
According to Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA) Director Subodh Yadav, there are less chances of any seats falling vacant. This is further validated by the department figures - 1,54,811 applications for 1,06,312 seats under the quota.
“In case of any seats falling vacant under the RTE quota they will be filled by a second round of admission based on the number of vacant seats,” he added.