The process for admitting underprivileged children under the 25 per cent quota in private schools, as mandated by the Right to Education (RTE) Act, begins on Saturday when the Education Department will begin checking the availability of seats in each school.

In the meanwhile, the department has in a circular clarified that “entry level class” under the RTE can mean either Lower Kindergarten (LKG), Upper Kindergarten (UKG) or Standard One depending on the lowest level at which the classes begin in a particular school. It has, however, said that pre-nursery, nursery or baby-sitting cannot be taken into account for quota admissions.

“Parents or schools cannot unilaterally determine what entry level class means,” S.R. Umashankar, Commissioner, Department of Public Instruction, has said in the circular.

He has instructed the Block Education Officers to keep this in mind while determining the number of seats available in private unaided schools which are obliged to keep aside 25 per cent of seats under quota. The process of receiving applications for admissions is set to start on January 10.

In the meanwhile, The Karnataka Private Schools Joint Action Committee (KAPJAC) has said that it is “not opposed to RTE implementation”, but needs greater clarification from the department on several areas. “We have submitted a memorandum to the Education Minister, but have not heard any response,” said KAPJAC president L.R. Shivarame Gowda.