The new year has brought a ray of hope for children from disadvantaged groups. In its latest circular, the state government has asked all schools to implement the Right to Education (RTE) Act norm, of keeping 25% seats for children from economically weaker sections, in their admissions for nursery and Std I from January 11. However, it has changed its earlier stand of unaided minority educational institutions having to implement the same, and excluded them.
Earlier, former director of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan Sanjay Deshmukh had said that as per the recent amendments in the act, its provisions would be applicable even to unaided minority schools and only those offering theological education would be exempted.
However, according to the latest notification, unaided minority schools have been exempted. “There is a lot of confusion over the interpretation of the latest amendment. We have decided to keep the unaided minority schools out till more light is thrown upon this issue,” said a senior education official.
Meanwhile, the district officers will brief the heads of all the schools, which have to follow the RTE provision, on the conduct of the admission process before January 10. Schools will have to start distributing and accepting applications from January 11. Between February 1 and 15, schools will have to process applications.
If a school rejects an application, it will have to send a letter to the child’s parents within three days explaining the reason. It will also have to send a copy of the letter to the education officer. “Last year, many schools turned down students’ applications for spurious reasons. To ensure that such things do not happen, we will keep a close tab on even those applications that are being rejected by schools,” said the official.
If the number of applications exceeds the number of seats in any school, the admissions should then be given based on a lottery system between February 16 and 20. On the other hand, if the number of applications is less, then schools will have to advertise and publicise the vacancies.