‘Inform government of pupil intake capacity’
The Maharashtra government has instructed all schools, except minority institutions, to furnish details about their intake capacity at the entrance level. This has been done to ascertain the schools’ capacity to provide 25% seats to weaker sections, mandatory under the Right To Education (RTE).
“Under the RTE, all schools have to inform the state about the number of seats they have at the entry level. But to facilitate schools in implementing the RTE, the school education department has told the educational institutes to provide data, such as the number of seats they have at the entry level,” J S Saharia, additional chief secretary, school education department, said. “If any school fails to share the data, it can be fined Rs 10,000 to Rs 1 lakh,” Saharia added.
According to the RTE, all schools, except for minority institutions, have to set aside 25% seats for weaker sections, and disadvantaged group students. Schools will have to enroll such students either at the pre-primary or class I level.
“Once data on the number of seats available at the entry level of schools is compiled, the department can calculate seats available for weaker and disadvantaged group students under RTE norms,” said another senior education department official.
Meanwhile, a meeting to decide and define the income limit for economically weaker sections was held at Mantralaya on Tuesday. The decision taken at that meeting will be tabled before the state cabinet on Wednesday. “On the lines of Delhi, even Maharashtra may set the income limit of a family to Rs 1 lakh per annum. But it is the prerogative of the cabinet, and ministers can either increase or lower the limit that will define weaker sections for implementing the RTE,” the education department official added.
Once data on the number of seats available at the entry level of schools is compiled, the department can calculate seats available for weaker and disadvantaged group students under RTE norms. Schools failing to share statistics can be penalized