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318 RTE seats still lying unclaimed in 30 pvt schools

Reservation of seats, Right to Education

Chandigarh: As many as 318 seats reserved under the Right to Education (RTE) Act for children from economically weaker sections (EWS) are still lying vacant across private schools in the city.
Last month, the UT Education Department had sought applications for these seats lying unclaimed in 30 private schools. However, not even a single EWS candidate has been admitted to the reserved seats in any of these schools in the last one month.

While the schools claim that they have not found any takers for these reserved seats, department officials confirm that a number of complaints have been received against some of these schools citing denial of admission.

Consequently, the department had issued an advisory to two prominent schools — Vivek High School (Sector 38) and St Kabir School (Sector 26) — on May 2, asking them to admit the eligible EWS children within a week.

DPI (schools) Sandeep Hans said, “These two schools have not admitted even a single EWS student as of date. Since the interests of other children studying in these schools are involved, we have issued a last warning to the schools to cooperate with the EWS applicants. Otherwise, appropriate action will be taken against them.”

While the management of St Kabir School refused to comment on the issue, the director of Vivek High School, H S Mamik, has said that the school has admitted general category applicants to the reserved seats, citing “lack of clarity on reimbursements to be paid to the schools for teaching EWS children”.

In a communication circulated to nearly 30 private schools in the city on April 17, the department had stated that the unclaimed RTE seats could not be converted into general seats without the directions of the department.

Sources said there were a few more schools which had converted the seats into general category and the department was in the process of withdrawing their recognition.

Out of a total of 63 private schools in the city — which come under the purview of the RTE Act — 33 have filled their RTE seats, going by the records with the department.

Some of the prominent schools where the RTE seats are lying vacant are Stepping Stones School (Sector 37), AKSIPS (Sector 41), First Steps School (Sector 26), D C Montessori School (Manimajra) and Saupins School (Sector 32).

The Financial Express, 07 May 2012

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