Changes in rules lead to drop in applications
There are no takers for nearly 40% of the seats that were up for grabs in aided and unaided schools under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education quota for the 2019-2020 academic year. Out of the total 17,720 seats available, there were no applications received for 7,243 seats.
The Department of Public Instruction conducted the first round of seat allotment on Monday. The department decided to go ahead with the allotment even though the recent amendments to the act have been challenged in the High Court as there are just three weeks for the commencement of the academic year. According to the new rules, a child can be admitted to a private school under the quota only if there is no government or aided school in the locality. This had drawn flak from a large number of parents wishing to admit their children into private schools.
In addition, it is mandatory for the child as well as either parent to submit Aadhaar details for a seat under the RTE quota. This has also contributed to a decline in the number of applications. There are 18,399 applications received and only 16,563 applications were eligible for the lottery process. As many as 643 schools, both aided and unaided, have received no applications.
The number of seats too have shrunk this year because of the amendment. Last year, there were 1.52 lakh seats, and around 2.38 lakh applications were filed for the same.
Seats have been allotted to 7,636 seats. Of this, 5,969 is for the general category, 1,382 are for those belonging to Scheduled Caste and 262 for those belonging to the Schedule Tribe community and 23 seats under special category.
Those who have been allotted seats should report to the respective schools before May 15 and the second round of seat allotment will be conducted on May 25.
M.T. Reju, Commissioner for Public Instruction said this year only two rounds of seat allotment process will be conducted.
Subject to court order
While the department conducted the first round of seat allotment for RTE quota seats, M.T. Reju, Commissioner for Public Instruction said it was subject to the order by the High Court. Some parent groups have challenged the RTE amendment in court. “We will abide by the court order,” he said.
Mr Reju also said the department would improve the facilities in the government schools including teaching and infrastructural resources. “We may have more admissions in government schools due to the amendment and there may be gaps in teachers or infrastructure. We will address it in the coming year by recruiting more guest teachers and improving the facilities,” he said.
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