Schools received far fewer application because of lack of awareness of scheme

Applications seeking free seats in schools for children belonging to economically backward communities are far fewer than the seats available. Free seats are still available in the private unaided schools (excluding those run by minority community) though only five more days left to submit applications.

Unless more people seek to make use of the facility, only half the seats may be filled under the Right to Education Act quota. For the 1,008 seats available in 69 schools in the Mangalore, only 521 applications have been received so far.

While 211 applications have been filed for 571 seats available in the Mangalore South block, there are 310 applications filed for 437 seats in Mangalore North Taluka. Block Education Officers of Mangalore South K. Sudhakara and Mangalore North C. Lokesh said efforts were being made to get more responses.

The two officials said schools have been asked to give more publicity for the scheme, including display of free seats on the school vans. Separate sessions were held with a few CBSE schools where few applications are received. “We have even asked schools to encourage wards of children studying in pre-primary classes to apply. We do not want seats to be unfilled,” Mr. Lokesh said.

There have been problems for parents getting income certificates on time. “In such cases, we have asked school management to receive applications with an undertaking that the parent would forgo the free seat if income was beyond Rs. 3.5 lakh,” Mr. Sudhakara said.

Bantwal better

The situation in Moobidri block was no better. Only 69 applications have been received for the 142 seats available in 13 schools.

An official from the Moodbidri Block Education Office said an unaided private school in Shirtady and another in Alangar have refused to receive applications citing minority status despite there being no official notification.

There has been good response in Bantwal block where more than 600 applications have been submitted for 365 seats offered in 34 schools. “We have problem of short listing applicants, more so with five private schools that have received more applications,” said an official from the office of BEO, Bantwal.

On AIR

A phone-in programme featuring Deputy Director of Public Instruction Moses Jayashekar will be aired from the All India Radio, Mangalore, between 9.30 p.m. and 10.30 p.m. on Monday. “This is a part of exercise to generate awareness about free seats and also clarify doubts,” said Mr. Jayashekar.

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