Tamil Nadu has not even met half its targeted number of admissions in matriculation schools for the 2013-14 academic year under the 25 percent reservation clause of the Right To Free and Compulsory Education Act.
Matriculation schools across the state admitted only 40 percent of the 58,619 students from poor and underprivileged backgrounds that the state wanted to admit at the entry level class in private unaided schools.
And, more than one-fourth of the matriculation schools did not admit even one underprivileged student under the clause.
This admission by the government has come in the form of a warning to private unaided schools this year, just before the expiry of third year deadline of the RTE Act on April 1. A directorate of matriculation schools circular to matriculation schools and chief educational officers in various districts took a strong view of self-financing educational institutions failing to admit students under the Act.
The circular said that this record is not acceptable at any level. After the central government enacted the Act and the state government notified it and issued appropriate government orders, we continue to get complaints about schools not admitting students. Schools will have to make up for this in the coming academic year by filling up all 25 percent seats allocated for underprivileged children in the locality.
Schools have been getting away with not meeting the 25 percent reservation target by claiming that nobody falling under the category had sought admission. The directorate has said it will not take no for an answer this time and has placed the onus on schools to publicise the availability of seats through local media.