Very few takers for RTE in Dakshina Kannada dist

Dept gets 911 applications for 1,709 seats in 150 unaided schools

Very few takers for RTE in Dakshina Kannada dist

Dakshina Kannada district which had received lukewarm response for 25 per cent reservation quota in private unaided schools for the children belonging to economic weaker sections under the Right to Education Act last year, has maintained almost the same response this academic year too.

According to the statistics available with the Department of Public Instructions, the department has received only 911 applications from interested parents seeking admissions for their children into private unaided schools in their neighbourhood. Under the RTE’s 25 per cent reservation, the Department has reserved 1,709 seats in 150 unaided schools (excluding minority institutions) in the district for the academic year 2013-14. With it, out of the total allotted seats, applications have been received for only 53.30 per cent of seats.

According to the initial reservation in the schools coming under seven education blocks, a total of 460 seats in 34 schools were reserved in Mangalore North block, 284 seats in 27 schools in Mangalore South block, 354 seats in 33 schools Bantwal block, 118 seats in 11 schools in Moodbidri block, 74 seats in nine schools in Belthangady block, 341 seats in 27 schools in Puttur block and 57 seats in nine schools in Sullia block. Later, a few more seats were added to the reservation category after a re-survey.

Most of the private schools had invited applications in January and the last date for submitting the application forms was on February 19.

Now that the admission process has started in the primary schools, even if all the applicant children are given admissions, the 25 per cent reservation would be only partially successful.

46 pc seats filled last year

Last year too, there were no takers for reservation seats under the RTE and the Department and non government organisations working for the cause had cited lack of awareness (as the Act was implemented for the first time) as the reason for poor response. In the last academic year, of the 1,645 reserved seats, the Department had received 825 applications  for admission to Class I of which only 763 children were admitted, thus only 46.38 per cent of the allotted seats were filled. This year, though the response is slightly better, it is definitely not satisfactory.

Despite the awareness programmes and campaigns organised by the Education Department as well as by the non government organisations, the reservation quota has failed to attract the attention of the general public.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Department of Public Instructions Deputy Director Moses Jayashekhar said the early admission process adopted by the schools is one of the major reasons for the setback.

“Normally, the parents get mentally prepared for the admission process in the month of March and April. But, with the private unaided schools in the district opening the process as early as in January, most of the parents failed to approach schools”.

 “The Department has tried its best to create awareness among the parents through websites, media publications, notices on the notice boards of schools and block education offices, but the efforts have not given the result we expected,” he said.

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