CHENNAI: Following a sharp decline in the number of applications for admissions under Right of Children for Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE) quota, Tamil Nadu has planned to extend the deadline.
According to state government data, 97,506 children were admitted across the State in 2016-17 under the quota. However, this year with hardly two days left for the deadline, the State has received only 33,548 applications, approximately one-third of last year’s figure.
This year, the application process was made online to avoid discrepancies over number of seats made available to students and actual admissions made, particularly in private schools.
Since its launch on April 20, the online portal has been receiving close to 1,400 applications daily. Though the move had ensured transparency for 1.26 lakh seats made available under the quota this year, those from rural areas had struggled to adapt to the process.
Educationist Prince Gajendra Babu said those from the economically weaker sections could not afford to scan and upload necessary documents online. “Accessibility should be made easier when such new provisions are introduced,” he added.
Responding to this, a school education department official said children and parents were instructed to bring necessary documents to nearby schools which had internet connectivity or education offices so that they could be uploaded free.
However, education activist S Christu Raj from Samakalvi Iyakkam wanted the government to make additional efforts to reach out to the marginalised sections.
Throwing more light, school education secretary T Udhaychandran said the deadline is likely to be extended from May 18. He was positive about the spike in applications during phase-II of the process.
The Seat Matrix
Total number of RTE seats available
Number of applications received on Tuesday: 1,809
Total number of applications received so far
(Economically weaker section
Disadvantaged groups: 7,439