Mumbai: The Maharashtra government told the Bombay High Court on Friday, that it has plans to review its Right To Education Act (RTE) policy during the next academic year.
This was stated by Maharashtra government pleader Geeta Shastri before a bench of Justice A V Mohta and Justice F E Reis which was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Anudanit Shiksha Bachao Samiti, an NGO, representing affected parents, whose children have not yet got admissions to schools under the RTE Act.
During the last hearing, the Court had suggested to the Maharashtra government to offer vacant seats under the RTE Act for students under the open category and those living in the vicinity of the school.
Shastri said schools could not utilise these seats for the open category since it is not permissible under Section 15 of the RTE Act. These seats have to be left vacant in case students approach them later during the academic year for admission under the RTE.
The High Court had suggested doing so earlier this month after it was informed that that around 50,000 seats are still vacant under the reserved category, across the state. The court had asked, "What is the point of keeping seats vacant? Why can't other children of the locality join? When infrastructure is available why cannot it be used by others?"
The court had also said that if this was done, then it would ease some pressure on school managements.
Counsel for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said that in case any parent has any grievance due to improper implementation of the RTE Act, then they could approach the Maharashtra State Child Welfare Commission and lodge a complaint.
The Maharashtra government informed that under the RTE Act, 25 per cent of the quota has to be reserved for students belonging to the poorer strata of the society.
Around 96,000 seats were found to be available. After proper advertising and raising awareness, around 43,000 seats were filled up, while the remaining are vacant.