Madurai: School education minister K C Veeramani announced in the current Assembly session that the number of admissions under Right to Education (RTE) in Tamil Nadu has gone up. This year it is nearly 50% increase over the last year.
Chennai and Coimbatore were the big contributors said officials in charge of RTE admissions. Madurai district has also seen a drastic improvement with nearly 70% enrollment under RTE this year.
Officials and child rights activists attributed the increase in numbers to the increased awareness campaigns in target areas and regular threats issued to schools. The schools were warned against turning away children from underprivileged backgrounds seeking admission under the 25% reservation clause of the Right To Free and Compulsory Education Act.
In the last one month alone a total of 560 seats from private schools were filled under the RTE quota. According to the RTE Act, all private schools have to allocate 25% of the seats to poor students free of cost. Students hailing from three km radius should be given priority. However, the schools run under the minorities do not come under the Act.
The officials wanted to utilize the quota, extended the last day for RTE admission, to one more month from May 30. The extension ended on a positive note as they were able to push 560 more children into private schools.
Almost all the schools have provided seats under RTE this year. The schools were given special attention to extract seats, officials from the inspector of matriculation schools' office said.
Officials also added that awareness RTE is yet to reach people in the rural areas. They would improve the admission percentage more in the time to come.