Even before the pilot scheme for conducting online admissions for the 25 per cent seats reserved under the Right to Education Act, 2009 was tested in city's south zone, the education department decided to extend it to the entire city.
The decision was taken on Wednesday, at a meeting between education commissioner S Chocklingam and additional municipal commissioner Mohan Adtani. Admissions will now be the joint responsibility of the BMC and the deputy director of school education.
"Initially only south zone was selected to try out the project. However, some schools are under BMC jurisdiction and others under the deputy director of education. So there was a slight mis-communication and hence a meeting was convened where Adtani assured total cooperation and suggested the process be extended to the entire city," said a department official.
"Why should admissions be conducted only for one part of the city? So we decided to conduct all admissions online. We will work with the deputy director to ensure it is done smoothly," said Adtani.
The BMC will conducted demos for education inspectors from all zones and school principals from south zone to acquaint them with the process. "Schools will have to register online and provide details. Once registrations are through in a week's time, the online platform will be open to parents to apply for admissions," said the official.
The admission schedule will be declared once the registration is complete.
To ensure that parents not used to technology do not have problems, the department will set up help desks across the city. "We will ensure that no student is left out. If parents have any difficulty in making online applications, they can contact the help desks that will be set up across the city," said B B Chavan, education inspector, south zone.
RTE activists have also welcomed the move. "The main problem till now was that schools were misleading parents. Now with the centralized process, parents will know which schools are eligible and the number of seats available. However, I am worried how parents will be able to adapt to the online process. The department should keep NGOs well-informed so that they can assist such parents," said Avisha Kulkarni.