RTE admissions in Madhya Pradesh, which began on June 23, entered the second phase on August 31. This news was a welcome relief to parents who are vying for seats for their children under the landmark act launched in 2012. The first online lottery of the admissions was held on July 7.
Unlike previous years, this is the first time that the admissions through the RTE is being conducted online. The offline process was chided severely by observers for the lack of transparency and charges of corruption at various levels of admission procedure which led to the change of the entire admission procedure itself.
According to the CEO, zila panchayat, Waradmurti Mishra, “the schools that have not yet declared the number of seats vacant in their institution have been given a notice to complete the process in time. The entire process is going to be handled by the appointed nodal officers,”
He further added that parents who fail to apply online through the education portal can also opt to apply via offline mode in the respective schools or to the Block resource officer, block education officer and state education department.
Admissions under RTE in the current academic year was delayed due to procedural hassles involving the registration of over 150 private schools from the district.
The RTE Act 2002, which inserted Article 21-A in the Part III of Constitution of India and thereby elevating education to the status of Fundamental Right had mandated for the private educational institutions to reserve the seats for economically backward class of children. This obligation which the act casts upon the private players is meant to target the lacunas in a country whose literacy rate at 74 percent is severely lacking compared to west.
The admission process for the current academic years had been mired with criticism for the slow admission process which according to the authorities resulted due to technical and administrative reasons. In fact, there were repeated changes in the deadline for listing the number of vacant seats in the private institutions, numbering at around 800 in Indore district. Finally the state education department announced 20 July as the final deadline
With the admissions gone online, this year marks a new phase in the RTI Act for Madhya Pradesh.
Even thought the RTE Act itself has been criticised for the want of fair play and transparency, this year, with the admissions gone online, the government seeks to shut the criticism one and for all with the online system of admission.