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RTE quota: Parents rush to get admission documents

Reservation of seats, Right to Education

MUMBAI: For Jyoti Sonawane, a domestic help who stays in Goregaon, the last few days have been tough. While she is happy that her four-year-old daughter’s application for junior KG has been accepted at Bangur Nagar Vidya Bhavan, Goregaon, the process of acquiring an income certificate has been a
difficult one.

The June 10 deadline for schools to admit students under the 25% quota was extended after schools stated that they had not received enough applications. For admissions under the 25% quota reserved for economically weaker sections under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, applicants must provide an income certificate. For those belonging to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes (SC/ST), only a caste certificate is required.
“I have not been able to go to work for the last three days, as I had to go to the tehsildar’s office with one document or the other,” said Sonawane, whose husband is ill and cannot work. Sonawane earns Rs6,000 per month to run a family of six and fears that missing work for several days may lead to a cut in her salary this month. “But I want to ensure that my daughter’s admission is secured,” she added.
“Since admissions under the Act are meant for students from families with an annual income under Rs1 lakh, an income certificate becomes mandatory to ensure applicants fall in the category,” said Sanjay Deshmukh from Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, in charge of enforcing the Act.

The necessary documents for applying for an income certificate include the ration card, an affidavit from the court, and an official income record for one year, and it takes about 15 days for the certificate to be issued. For those who cannot show a salary record, it is necessary to get a letter from the corporator.
“During the admission season, we get a lot of applications for income certificates,” said Prashant Panvekar, tehsildar, Borivli. “The process takes time because we have to ensure there is no ambiguity in the documents,” he said.

Panchsheela Jadhav, also a domestic help, has also been running around for securing the income certificate for her son’s admission to MTS Khalsa High School, Goregaon. “I was waiting at the tehsildar’s office for three hours on Friday, but since my husband was working, my application was not accepted as his signature was needed,” said Jadhav. “We now have to go back again,” she added.
The state education department has taken steps to ease the process for applicants. “I have spoken to the sub-divisional officer to direct tehsildars to issue the certificates for RTE applicants as early as possible,” said Deshmukh.

Hindustan Times, 18 June 2012

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