DPI orders schools to ensure 100 pc admissions under RTE

DPI orders schools to ensure 100 pc admissions under RTE

From this academic year, schools cannot cite “lack of demand” as a reason for not filling seats under the Right To Education (RTE) quota.For, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has directed the schools to identify children from neighbourhood belonging to migrant labourer families or orphans or differently-abled and fill seats available under  RTE quota if they do not get sufficient applications to fill all seats under the RTE quota. 

The admission process for academic year 2014-15 has begun and parents can obtain applications till February 19. In a circular, on February 5, 2014, Commissioner of Public Instruction Mohammed Mohsin has stated that High Court has taken cognisance of seats lying vacant under the quota for 2013-14. 

As per the court directions, the officials concerned have to get specific reasons from schools for not filling seats under reservation quota. Schools that had not filled all seats in 2013-14 will have to submit details about the number of seats allocated in their institutions for RTE and the number remaining vacant and reasons for the same, before February 20. 

The circular stated: “The reason that the school did not receive enough applications will not be entertained.” Mohsin said schools will be given time to identify such children in the neighbourhood and they cannot fill vacant seats under reservation by giving admissions to general students, without authorisation from the DPI. 

However, the circular has raised some scepticism. Nagasimha G Rao of RTE Task Forces, said that even though it would help the students if  implemented, in reality, schools might not be willing to take up the responsibility. “Who will bell the cat? If schools follow these directions, it will definitely help the cause of children from the weaker sections. However, will the schools take the responsibility of identifying these children? Or will the BEOs to do it?” 

Demand for seats

This year, there has been a huge demand for seats under reservation, as several schools have received applications in large numbers. BGS School in Hulimavu that has 89 seats under reservation provision has received more than 400 applications. AECS Maruthi School with 27 seats has got 300 applications, St Aloysius and Goodwill schools, having 50 seats each, have received more than 100 applications. 

If the number of eligible students are more than seats available, the government follows the lottery system. Last year, there were several complaints about system being flawed and seats were influenced by local leaders. The RTE Task Force, on its part, has asked the department to conduct the lottery in presence of BEO, parents and school management, media and activists. Announcing lottery procedure three days ahead, ensuring that the person conducting the lottery is a department official, live telecast, are measures proposed. 

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