The November 9 circular has asked schools to disclose the, “vacancy position of total number of declared seats and EWS/DG category seats at 25% [in] each entry level class, i.e. pre-school, pre-primary and Class I for admission in academic session 2016-17.” It also told the schools to upload the age criteria they’ve followed till 2015-16.
Most importantly-and in a departure from usual practice-the circular has asked schools to “upload the names of locality/sub-locality of their schools, which fall wihtin the radii of 0-1km, 1-3km and 3-6km of the school, which were being used for admission of EWS/DG category students,” and also asked schools to, “mention its co-ordinates.” The schools are expected to furnish this information within 10 days.
The last set of details likely pertain to the government’s efforts to move the EWS admission process-the lottery, essentially-online. Officials have studied the Rajasthan model to check for feasibility. An amendment in the Delhi RTE Rules is also being considered to clarify the distance criteria. Earlier, the government created only a common form and schedule for this category.
A previous circular, issued on November3, had directed all schools-even the government and municipal ones-to find a GPS Coordinate Finder application in a mobile app store and download it. They were then required to stand at the main entrance of the school building-and download the coordinates (latitude and longitude) from there.
“Using the co-ordinates to decide which locations come within the radius may be a good idea,” said lawyer activist Khagesh Jha, “But barriers that won’t show up. Kids may have to cross railway lines to reach schools or cross storm drains. Even if the school is within a kilometre, the child may have to walk far to cross the bridge.”