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RTE quota seats lie vacant in schools despite high enrollment

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had got over 9,000 applications, a whopping number that the city saw for the first time in the last four years.

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Ankita Bhatkhande

Updated: Apr 30, 2017, 07:10 AM IST

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Despite high enrollment rate this year, 37 per cent of the seats reserved under the RTE quota in city schools are lying vacant. Only 2,798 students were enrolled by the end of Saturday, which marked the end of the admission process.

This year, 7,449 seats were open for admissions across 334 schools in the city. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had got over 9,000 applications, a whopping number that the city saw for the first time in the last four years. However, only 30 per cent applicants could actually secure admission for their wards.

Sudhir Paranjape, activist, Anudanit Shiksha Bachao Samiti (NGO), working for students from the disadvantaged sections of society, said that the low enrollment year on year reflects the sheer neglect and lack of willpower on part of the authorities to implement the RTE act in its true sense.

"The problem is not about parents not being aware. This year, the number of applications has been quite high. The problem lies with the online system, wherein several parents are not being allotted the right schools, while many are not getting any allotment letter. In a recent case, a child from Kurla was allotted a school in Grant Road, as the software had wrongly estimated the distance from Kurla to Grant Road as 1.57km," he said.

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