Riders give their children only a slim chance, schools won’t cooperate
Even as the Department of Public Instruction has announced second round of admissions for students into private unaided schools under the 25 per cent quota of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, parents whose wards did not secure seats in the first are pessimistic.
The circular, issued last week, stated that the second round would help fill the large number of vacant RTE quota seats in private unaided schools and also help students get admissions by May 30. But officials said parents could not apply afresh and had to take a chance on vacant seats in schools they had applied previously.
Some of the parents The Hindu spoke to said they had already got admissions in other schools as the academic session would commence within a fortnight. Anand Basappa (36), a bus driver, said the department’s decision would have been useful had it come earlier. “As I failed to obtain a seat under RTE quota, I admitted my daughter in a private school. What use is the second round now?” He said had the announcement come earlier, it would have helped save him over Rs. 10,000 a year. “If the government really wanted to fill the vacant seats, they should have done this earlier.”
Savitha M. (30), a homemaker whose six-year-old son Gagan did not get a seat in a particular school, said the second round would not help her as she had applied only in one school. “In the first round I had applied to only one school. But as my son did not get a seat, I won’t mind sending him to any school in my locality. But officials said that I am not eligible for the second round.”
Meanwhile, L.R. Shivarame Gowda, chairperson of the Joint Action Committee of Private Schools, said that private schools would not cooperate with the government for the second round. “There are so many practical problems to implement this. There needs to be proper planning if this needs to be done. We will not oblige.”
‘Better next year’
To this, Commissioner for Public Instruction S.R. Umashankar admitted it was a “limited second chance”. “We were able to analyse the situation only last week and we had to involve various stakeholders. Next year, we will plan it out better. We hope that this move will benefit at least a few deserving candidates.”