TNCC chief’s plea to govt on RTE admissions

K Selvaperunthagai, president of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC), has highlighted significant hurdles faced by students from marginalized communities in accessing admissions to private schools under the provisions of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009. In a statement issued on Wednesday, Selvaperunthagai urged the Tamil Nadu government to closely monitor the admission process to ensure equitable opportunities for all students in the state.

Selvaperunthagai pointed out that students belonging to Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), Other Backward Classes (OBC), and economically weaker sections encounter numerous obstacles when attempting to avail themselves of the benefits outlined in the RTE Act. He underscored several key issues that impede the admission process for these students.

One major concern highlighted by Selvaperunthagai is the malfunctioning of the website through which students can apply for admissions. He emphasized that the website fails to operate effectively, hindering students’ ability to submit their applications. Additionally, Selvaperunthagai noted that many schools do not publicly announce admissions based on reservations, further complicating the process for eligible candidates.

Moreover, Selvaperunthagai emphasized a specific provision of the RTE Act, which mandates that students must reside within a 1-kilometer radius of the schools to be eligible for admission. He lamented that numerous applications are rejected on the grounds of this rule, unfairly barring deserving students from accessing quality education.

Highlighting the scale of the issue, Selvaperunthagai revealed that approximately 1 lakh students are expected to be admitted to 8,000 schools under the RTE Act. However, he noted that students from families with an annual income of less than ₹2 lakh also encounter difficulties during the admission process. Selvaperunthagai raised concerns over reports indicating that students from SC, ST, and backward