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Gujarat government mulls fourth round of RTE

With almost half the academic year over, children getting admission will be highly disadvantaged

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Even as half the syllabus in schools have been completed and students are gearing up for their first term examinations, the state government is still mulling over the 4th round of admissions under the Right to Education Act. With nearly 40,000 seats remaining vacant after three rounds, the government claims that only 11,000 students are yet to get admitted.

Giving ‘preferred schools not available’ as the reason for the discrepancy in numbers, state government officials said, “Even if there are vacancies, parents want only ‘certain schools’, which is why 11,000 children are yet to get admitted. If need be, we will be conducting another round of admissions to accommodate them,” said an official from the Education Department.

The state government this year had surprised everyone when they nearly doubled the total number of seats under RTE to 1,12,000. In the first round, nearly 80,000 students were allotted seats out of which 71,000 took admission. The second round was delayed for a few months and was held after getting a nod from Gujarat High Court; 4,642 students were allotted seats. However, of the 4,642, only 2,091 confirmed their admissions. Another 1,810 children were allotted seats after the third round.

When DNA asked state Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama about the same, he said, “If there are seats vacant as per 25% reservation and there are eligible students, only then we will conduct the fourth round.

Speaking about the academic loss, Manan Choksi, Executive director, Udgam School for Children and President, Association of Progressive Schools, said, “As per RTE Act, a student needs to attend 200 days of schooling. However, in the present scenario, half of the year has gone. Especially for CBSE schools, where the new session starts in April, RTE children getting admitted in September may face lot of difficulties in coping up. During the pendency of the cases, provisional admission of these children should have been allowed so that their education would not have suffered.”

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