Pune: Parents pay Rs 100 to complete RTE admission forms

PUNE: Several parents, who want to admit their children into private schools under the 25% reserved quota of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, claimed that they were asked to pay Rs 100 at the help desks of the district education office.

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The help desks have been set up to facilitate the form-filling exercise for students under the scheme. However, parents complained that they were charged for a free service. Since several parents find it difficult to fill the online forms, the state education department has been setting up help desks across the city.

A parent present at a help centre in Swargate said, “The person in charge at the help desk was charging Rs100 for every form filled. I am not so good at handling mobile phones neither do I own a smartphone. The person in-charge was completing the required formality quickly so I paid up and filled the form for my son.”

When contacted, joint director of primary education and in-charge of RTE, Dinkar Temkar said that he was unaware about the charges being collected at help centres. Temkar stated, “The service is free at all centres. If any officers are found collecting illegal fees, then we shall take action against them.”

Across the state, several issues have cropped up ever since the RTE admission process began on March 5. In the first two days, the system responded rather slowly. To this, authorities claimed heavy traffic on the site led to the technical glitch. Many applicants also said that there were issues with finding their location in the address column.

The last date to fill the application form is March 25. With less than 10 days left, the rush at help centres has increased. In Maharashtra, 9,194 schools are participating in the admission process with 1,16,811 vacancies. So far, the number of applicants is 1,47,986. In Pune, 963 schools are participating in the process. There are 16,619 vacant seats while a total of 35,581 forms have been filled until Friday evening.

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