Confusion over RTE Act remains, some schools for it, some not

Even as pre-primary and nursery admissions are on in schools, confusion prevails on the implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act.

Government's delay in issuing a circular led to a delay in the admission of many non-state board schools this year. Hence, pre-primary admission for many non-state board schools in Mumbai, which usually begins by October-November, was postponed till December.

In April 2012, a Supreme Court order stated that all schools, except unaided minority ones, will have to keep aside 25 per cent seats at entry level (pre-primary or class I) for children from socially/economically weaker sections (EWS) under the Act. Later, an amendment to the law said only theological schools like madrasas and vedic schools can skip reservation. Other schools (including unaided minority schools) will have to keep aside 25 percent seats during admissions for next academic year. A circular dated December 5, 2012 that was issued on January 2, said unaided minority schools will not have to follow the 25 per cent quota.

Schools that will not reserve seats

Rustomjee Cambridge International, Dahisar

Admission: September - December

Term begins: February-March

Status: Unaided minority school

"We are a Parsi minority school. According to the Supreme Court order, we are exempt. Hence we decided to go ahead with the admissions process as per the schedule. We already provide free education to children of our class IV workers and support staff."

Hanif Kanjer, Director

G D Somani School, Cuffe Parade

Admission: December -January

Term begins: March

Status: Unaided minority school

"Admission at our school is over. Since the beginning, we had decided not to set aside seats. As per the Supreme Court order, all unaided minority schools are exempt from implementing this rule."

M P Sharma, Director

Christ Church School, Byculla

Admission: December

Term begins: March

Status: Unaided minority school

"We start our admissions in December. We will continue with the process until we get the education department directives in hand."

Carl Laurie, Principal

St Mary's High School (SSC), Mazgaon

Admission: January -February

Term begins: March

Status: Unaided minority school

"We can't rely on government notifications. Hence, we have started the admission process. Whether exemption is permanent or temporary, we will continue admissions without reserving seats."

Fr. Baptist Pinto, Principal

Rajhans Vidyalaya, Andheri

Admission: April

Term begins: June-July

Status: Unaided minority school

"We are an unaided minority school, so until we have a final decision from the education department, we will go ahead with admissions without reserving seats."

Deepshikha Srivastava, Principal

Schools that have kept aside 25 per cent

Kangaroo Kids Education Ltd (KKEL)

Admission: November-December

Term begins: April

" Most of our seats have been filled. We have called a meeting of principals to discuss this clause."

Linah Ashar, founder, KKEL

Gopal Sharma Int'l School, Powai

Admission: October-November

Term begins: March

"We are clear about the Act. We have kept aside 25 per cent seats for EWS students."

Gool Ghadiali, principal

Activity High School, Peddar Road

Admission: November-December

Term begins: March

"The regulations under RTE act are still unclear but we have reserved 25 per cent seats."

Perin Bagli, principal

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