New Delhi: The epidemic has slowed down the admission of students from economically weaker sections (EWS) and disadvantaged groups (DGs), for whom 25% seats are reserved in private schools across the country. Although different states follow different admission deadlines, a report released on Saturday said that in Delhi, 17,000 such seats were not filled in 2020-21.

An NGO Indus Action has been published titled ‘Bright Spots: Report of Inclusion through the Lens of RTE Section 12 (1) (c)’. The Right to Education clause mentioned in the title is mandatory for EWS / DG students to reserve 25% of the seats available in the school. In Delhi, this 25% includes 22% EWS / DG and 3% for children with special needs.



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Although reserved vacancies were not filled in Delhi and Maharashtra (29,000 unfinished seats), the number of applications in other states declined. Applications to Karnataka decreased by 38% in 2020-21 as compared to a year ago. This year too, there were only 8,980 applicants for the 14,036 available seats. In Uttar Pradesh, the application process was suspended four times despite the number of schools increasing from 19,962 to 20,929. Finally, both the number of applications received in 2020 and the number of students admitted were lower than the previous year. In Tamil Nadu, only 86,000 applications were received for 115,000 seats and it took several rounds of admission to fill the vacancy. Madhya Pradesh has not organized admission in the epidemic year.

“Admission was delayed for six to nine months in several states due to the epidemic,” he said. Lockdown and other covid-related issues were some of the other challenges faced by various stakeholders, such as parents not being able to arrange the required documents on time, school not being paid on time, children not being able to attend online classes. Lack of access to technology and knowledge, ”the report said.

Due to the declining number of seats on offer in almost all the states, the admission rate was higher than in the pre-epidemic year. Maharashtra has only 1,15,447 seats in 2020-21 as against 1,16,809 in 2019-20. Delhi also had fewer seats on offer. In 2019-20, the admission rate was 56% in Delhi, 60% in Tamil Nadu and 67% in Maharashtra. In 2020-21, the rate increased to 74.7% in Maharashtra and 63.7% in Delhi.

“Indus Action and partners have been working tirelessly at the grassroots level and together we hope to find innovative solutions to current challenges and reduce dropouts,” said Young Cherukuri, CEO of the NGO.

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