Thursday, January 23, 2014

Schools demand huge sums from quota kids

Schools demand huge sums from quota kids

Garima Prasher, TNN Apr 16, 2013, 04.31AM IST

BANGALORE: When 6-year-old Rohit R (name changed) got a seat in a private school here under the free Right to Education (RTE) quota, his family celebrated at the good fortune. His father Basavaraj's joy was short-lived. Asked to cough up Rs 20,000 under various heads, including Rs 12,000 as admission charge, the daily-wage labourer is running from pillar to post to raise the money.
Basavaraj rushed to education department officials, who asked him not to pay the sum. But Basavaraj is distraught, "Not giving them the money will mean my son's admission will be cancelled."
"I thought my troubles would end and my son can study in a private school. All was well till the school, Wisdom International School in Fraser Town, demanded the money," said Basavaraj. Apart from Rs 12,000 as admission charge, the school has demanded Rs 4,650 as computer fee, Rs 1,550 for uniform and Rs 1,600 for books. "I know that under RTE rules, the school can only charge us for uniform and books," Basavaraj added.
Basavaraj is not the only person whose RTE dreams are being subverted. Admission fee, maintenance bill, multimedia charge, computer fee, monthly tuition charges - these are some categories under which parents seeking admission through the Right to Education Act are being asked to pay. The RTE Act mandated all private schools to earmark 25% of their seats for needy students in their neighbourhood. The state government has been tasked with reimbursing the expenditure incurred by schools for every RTE quota student.
While some schools have asked parents to pay Rs 6,500 during admission, the amount goes up to Rs 20,000 in other instances. Parents whose wards have secured seats under the RTE quota say they won't be able to shell out these fees.
Mohammad Rafiq (name changed), another parent seeking admission under the RTE quota, will pay Rs 16,000 for his son's admission to Wisdom International School. "I've been asked to pay Rs 7,500 as admission charge, Rs 4,650 as computer fee, Rs 2,500 for books and Rs 1,500 for uniform. The school said only the monthly fee will be waived. Ten admissions have been made under RTE in the school and all parents are paying huge sums as admission fee," said Rafiq, a cabbie whose monthly earnings are rarely more than Rs 6,000.
New Citizen School in Kushalnagar, off Tannery Road, is yet another school charging exorbitant amounts from parents under RTE. "I've been asked to pay totally Rs 6,500, which is a huge amount for me. I have the receipt for admission fee from the school. I work for daily wages and hardly make Rs 5000 a month," said a parent Santosh Kumar (name changed).

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