BENGALURU: Vacancies under the Right To Education (RTE) Act have steadily increased over the past four academic years, despite increase in demand among parents of economically backward sections of the society.
Less takers for seats offered by private aided schools, poor school infrastructure, and preference for English medium schools affiliated to CBSE/ICSE boards rather than the state board schools, have been identified as the main reasons for this unhealthy increase in vacancies in RTE seats. As per data available with the department of public instruction, in the current academic year (2018-19), the total seats under RTE quota left vacant in the state is 32,439, which was 19,647 in the previous academic year.
The percentage increase from the academic year 2015-16 till 2018-19 has been steadily increasing from a mere 9.96 percent to 21.32 per cent.The officials from the department point fingers at the seats available at private aided schools added under the quota for the first time this year.For the first time, the department of public instruction added 25 percent of the seats available at private aided schools in the state in the present academic year.
“This has been done considering the demand for seats under RTE quota, but after completion of the seat allotment, we realised that many seats were left vacant and when analysed, we realised that there were very few takers for seats offered at private aided schools,” mentioned a senior official of the department.
“Another reason for increase in vacant seats is that schools are with poor infrastructure. And as per our observation, all parents target getting admissions for their wards in private schools which are popular. Another reason is parents preferring schools offering English medium and affiliated to CBSE/ICSE boards rather than the state board schools,” an official pointed out.