Odisha government asks DEOs to ensure RTE quota fulfilment

Around 2,302 students had applied for admissions from across the state through the RTE Paradarshi portal of the School and Mass Education department.
Under section 12 (1)(c) of RTE Act, private schools must reserve 25 per cent of their seats for children belonging to Economically Weaker Sections from the neighbourhood
Under section 12 (1)(c) of RTE Act, private schools must reserve 25 per cent of their seats for children belonging to Economically Weaker Sections from the neighbourhood(Express Illustrations)

BHUBANESWAR: The School and Mass Education department has asked all private English medium schools not to deny admission to students from poor socio-economic backgrounds who have been selected under the provisions of Right to Education (RTE) Act.

Close to 1,500 students have been selected for admission to private English medium schools in their neighbourhood in the third phase of admissions under the Right to Education Act. Admissions began on Tuesday and would continue till month end. Around 2,302 students had applied for admissions from across the state through the RTE Paradarshi portal of the School and Mass Education department. Of them, 1,598 have been allotted seats under the 25 per cent Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) quota and they were selected following a lottery at the Directorate of Elementary Education.

In a directive, the directorate authorities have asked all block and district education officers to ensure private schools, where the EWS students would be admitted, do not deny them admission on any grounds or collect admission or any other fees from them.

The directive comes in the wake of allegations by Odisha Parents Federation that children from poor socio-economic backgrounds were denied admission under EWS quota by private schools despite their selection during the previous phases. Last month, parents under the federation had alleged that 10 Bhubaneswar-based schools had denied admission to EWS quota students on the ground that they had not received the block education officer’s letter in this regard.

Under section 12 (1)(c) of RTE Act, private schools must reserve 25 per cent of their seats for children belonging to Economically Weaker Sections from the neighbourhood (within 5 km radius of the school).

Of this, 10 per cent is reserved for scheduled caste and scheduled tribe students, 10 per cent for children from BPL families and five per cent for children without a home. As per reports, so far, 27,247 students have been allotted seats under EWS quota in 3,615 private schools having a total seat count of 44,826.

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