Maharashtra primary education director has said admissions for 2014-15 under Right To Education Act (RTE) would commence from February 15. There had been a lot of confusion about the starting date for the 25% free seats and it was complicated by the silence of the education department.
Speaking exclusively to TOI, director Mahavir Mane now said, “We are issuing a notification next month about the start of RTE admission. It will commence from Feb 15 across the state. In Mumbai and Pune, we will conduct admissions online on a trial basis.” Last year the education department had decided to conduct RTE admissions in June each year but the decision was put on hold in December just before the start of winter session of legislature in Nagpur. In the house, the government declared it planned to take the RTE admissions online but no date for its commencement was announced.
With the education department also mum on it, many schools went ahead and started admission for the remaining 75% general category seats. Principal of a CBSE school said, “We started advertizing two weeks ago after realizing there was no accountability in state’s education department. The local officials kept saying they had no idea when RTE admissions would commence. For us it was important to know the date so we could conduct both the processes simultaneously.”
Another principal said, “Though admission processes for RTE and general category are separate, it is better for us to conduct them at the same time. This is good for managing staff and ensuring that formalities for every child’s admission is finished uniformly. The February 15 date is still too far. By then general admissions for most top schools would have closed. This means we will again have to engage staff for something we are currently doing.”
Schools have also been waiting for reimbursement against free RTE admissions done for the last two years and the education department has been stalling payments on one pretext or another. Mane now said reimbursement process was now at the last stage and schools would get money soon. “All the bills we received at the Pune office have now been cleared. We have requested the state to release the funds against the bills. After this, we will allocate it to respective district officials for disbursement,” said Mane.
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