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6,000 RTE seats still vacant in Pune ahead of fifth round

PUBLISH DATE 14th May 2017

Only 9,000 Admissions Confirmed

Though over 36,000 applications have been received against 15,000 seats, only 9,000 admissions have been confirmed till now for the free seats under the Right to Education Act, 2009, in Pune.

The fourth round of admission was completed on May 9 and the administration is gearing up for the fifth round.

Activists say despite allocation, schools refuse to admit stu tion, schools refuse to admit students citing various reasons.On the other hand, education officials said many parents, due to lack of awareness, do not check the allocation online or don't take admission, hoping to get admission in the next round.

The RTE Act says 25% seats at the entry level classes of all private non-minority schools need to be reserved for students belonging to the economically and socially backward sections.

According to the admission process, the students are allocated a school after each round of lottery. The parent receives an SMS after the allocation and also a day before the last day of the admission process of that particular round. The parent has to go to the school and confirm his her ward's admission within the specified period. If the pa rent refuses to do so, the allocation stands cancelled and student's name is thrown out of the entire process.

Vinod Pohekar, a parent who visited the Pune Municipal Corporation education board's grievance redressal centre, said, “I only got one SMS after the first round, which said the allocation could not be made in that round but received no message after that. I am not a computer li terate person and don't read newspapers. So I had no idea so many rounds were over. I also don't know how to check online for allocation. How are people like us supposed to know when the allocation has been made if for some reason the SMS do not reach us.“

RTE official from PMC education board said, “The problem is many parents have come to us saying they were not in Pune hence they didn't receive the SMS. There is a problem with sending bulk SMSes. If the phone isn't in range, then the messages do not reach. But the parents have been told to check online multiple times, which they never do. Second, schools have also been asked to contact parents once they know who all have been allocated to their school.“

Vaishali Pandhare, RTE education officer said, “The dates of fifth round will be declared by next week. Whether fresh applications will be allowed to be submitted in the online admission process or not will also be declared along with the date next week.“