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Lottery system for seat allotment, preference to home district/taluka students and designated authorities for distribution of forms are some of the key highlights of the new admission guidelines for government run residential schools (ash - ramshalas), for scheduled caste (SC) and neo-Buddhist students.
The state department for social justice and special assistance has issued a government resolution (GR) on June 29, laying down the admission guidelines. The same are in tune with the government’s decision to establish 100 ashramshala’s at specific identified locations across Maharashtra. Secretary to social justice department Dinesh Waghmare has stated in the GR that a majority of the SC community comprises of agricultural labourers and marginal farmers for whom sending their children to schools remains a difficult proposition. The ashramshala scheme was introduced 1996-97 to specifically address this issue.
So far, there are 11 ashramshala sin the state run by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) at primary and secondary education level. Considering this highly inadequate number, the state government had announced in the 2003-04 budgets that each of the 353 talukas in Maharashtra will have one ashramshala. Of these, 100 residential schools were to be for SC and neo-Buddhist students from Stds I to VII, according to a decision taken in June 2006. A committee, headed by the chief secretary, determined the locations for these 100 ashramshala’s on the basis of the SC and neo-Buddhist population, literacy rate, economic and allied factors. A considerable number of these 100 residential schools are now in place. The government has decided to implement admission process for these ashramshala’s along the lines of the process for the central government’s Navodaya schools. The issue of admission guidelines arose following the introduction of the Right to Education Act and the Navodaya schools decision to shelve its plan for an entrance test, the GR stated. The new guidelines provide that from June 2011 all residential schools started by the government will admit students to Std V to VII, apart from the existing Stds I to IV. Each class will have a capacity to accommodate 80 students. In cases, where the space is not sufficient, the admission capacity will be 40 seats per class. From 2012-13, Std VIII admissions will be effected at these residential schools and Stds IX and X will be added as part of natural progression in the subsequent years. The seat allotment will be effected on the basis of lottery system. Preference shall be given to the home district/ taluka students for admission to the residential school in the given district. In case of vacancy, students from other districts/ talukas will be granted admission. Each year, the last date for submission of admission forms will be September 30, the guidelines stated. The government has identified the block education officer of the panchayat samitis; the district social welfare officer; education officer (secondary) of the Zilla Parishad; principals of the national institute of open schools and the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan schools and principals or head masters of residential schools for SC students, as designated authorities for distribution of admission forms free.
Courtesy: DNA India
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