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Nagpur schools to reopen admissions to enlist students under RTE

Reservation of seats, Right to Education

NAGPUR: In a major development late on Thursday, several city schools have agreed to reopen their admissions at entry level (Std I) from June 20 specifically to accommodate students under the 25% free quota as mandated by the Right To Education.

Speaking to TOI from Pune, deputy director of education Mahesh Karajgaonkar said, “At the RTE awareness seminar on Wednesday I asked the principals to reopen their admissions. The top schools said they would have to consult their management as admissions to Std I closed early this year and all seats have been taken. Today I learnt that everyone has agreed to my suggestion.”

Karajgaonkar’s suggestion has been termed as the ‘Common Programme’ (CP) which all schools will follow. It is basically a timetable from the reopening of admissions till the allotment of seats.
Kana Roy Choudhary, principal of Centre Point (Katol Rd), said, “RTE is the law of the land and we all respect it and we will implement it as well. All schools have agreed to follow this Common Programme and admission forms will be distributed from June 20 onwards.”

While many principals said that Bhavans’ schools are also a part of the CP, this could not be confirmed as the school did not respond to calls. Said Karajgaonkar: “Be it Bhavan’s, Centre Point, Modern or any other state board school, everyone is on board for the CP now. Some aided minority schools had reservations about this but I am sure that many of these schools are not having 51% students from their community as mandated under the law. After returning to Nagpur on Friday (he is in Pune now), I will make further plans.”

The immediate concern of many top schools like Centre Point and Bhavan’s would be the lack of seats and infrastructure. With admissions already full it is clearly an uphill task to accommodate another 25% students.
“We will just go ahead with the process and do the best possible from our side. We have agreed to the CP so it goes without saying that we will admit students for the 25% seats, maybe we might have to increase the sections,” said Choudhary.

While the government agreed that there might be an ‘infrastructure’ issue, it stressed that it could be managed. “From next year these schools will admit according to their infrastructure, but I do not see it becoming a big issue. The law has to be followed and we all have to find a way to do that,” said Karajgaonkar.
The state government has decided to implement RTE from the 2012-13 academic year itself and one of the major components of the act is free admissions under the 25% quota. Schools have to provide admissions to socially disadvantaged group (SC/ST) & economically weaker sections (OBC, VJNT & those whose parents’ annual income in less than Rs. 1 lakh).

Nagpur’s South Point School (state board) became the first in the state to give admission under the 25% quota and now the CP prepared by the education department here seems to have taken the process further.

The Times of India, 15 June 2012

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