RTE Act: ‘Lack of clarity’ delays nursery admissions

Even as pre-primary or nursery admissions are on across city schools, chaos prevails on the implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009.

Stating that the Maharashtra government is yet to issue a circular on the Act, several schools said lack of clarity has delayed the admission process this year. Hence, while pre-primary admission to non-state board schools in Mumbai usually begins by October-November, many schools postponed it till December.

Kashmira Gundevia, principal of Maneckji Cooper Education Trust School at Juhu Tara road, said principals are still not completely aware about the implementation of clauses under the Act. "There is a lot of confusion as to whether unaided minority schools will come under the purview of the Act or not. The government must first clear confusion to ensure smooth implementation of the Act," she said.

While unaided minority schools were exempt from setting aside 25 per cent seats for underprivileged children at the entry level, an amendment was later made to the RTE Act, which categorically stated that only theological schools are exempted.

In the absence of a notification, schools are still weighing their options. Many complained that schools and parents are still unclear about the amendment. Several also questioned the delay in issuing the Government Resolution on RTE, which was due in November.

"Our nursery admissions began in October, and even if the state issues a GR now, it may be too late to implement the provisions this year. The school management will have to take a call on it," said a principal.

Children's Academy Group of Schools in the western suburbs has put up a notice on its website, which says that the date for issue of nursery admission forms for children under general category is yet to be finalised. "For nursery admissions, we give first preference to siblings and children of alumni. After admissions to this category, only 45-50 seats are left for public. Till the issue of 25 per cent reservation is clear, we cannot start the admission process for the remaining seats," said Rohit Bhat, principal of Childrens' Academy (Kandivali).

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