Maharashtra Education Department Restricts RTE Admissions To Private Schools Within 1 Km

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Pune, 15th February 2024: The Maharashtra State School Education Department has introduced crucial amendments to the Right to Education (RTE) Act, as detailed in a recently published gazette. The updated regulations specify that if there is a government or aided school within a 1-kilometre radius, RTE admissions will no longer be extended to unaided schools in the same vicinity. This change is poised to diminish the number of available RTE admission seats, nudging parents toward considering government schools over private English medium institutions.

Previously, the RTE Act reserved 25% of seats for students from economically and socially backward classes in English medium schools. More than one lakh students were benefiting from online admissions under RTE in Maharashtra, with the government reimbursing the respective schools for the fee amount. However, dissatisfaction arose among organizational leaders due to incomplete reimbursement from the government.

The recent amendment broadens the scope of the RTE Act to encompass government and aided schools. As per the gazette, if the government or aided schools exist within a one-kilometre radius of a private unaided school, the local authority will not select the private school for 25% admission from deprived and weak sections. Additionally, any private unaided school chosen under the specified rules will not qualify for reimbursement.

Officials from the Education Department interpret these provisions to imply that fee reimbursement for students admitted to unaided schools within a 1-kilometre radius of government and aided schools will not be remitted to the respective private institutions.

In preparation for the academic year 2024-25, Deputy Secretary of the School Education Department, Tushar Mahajan, has directed the Office of the Commissioner of Education and the Director of Primary Education to initiate the RTE admission process following the amended regulations.