Dens of Exploitation
How do people pay thousands in admission fee; is it dowry or bribe!
PRIVATE SCHOOLS BY FAZL ILLAHI
Aatif (name changed) lives at Qammerwari. Since his mother is expecting the whole family has shifted to Hawal-- his maternal home-- he cannot attend school from his here. While at Qamarwari he would not avail school bus service as the school was in the vicinity of his home. Now he is pleading with the school management to allow him board the school bus from Hawal for some two months, till the time they return. But the school management tells him to deposit bus fee for one whole year even if he utilizes service for two months only. Sheer exploitation!!!
A parent wants to admit his ward in a school after the admissions are well over. The admission fee ranges from 20 to 25 thousand in the said school, and he is more than ready to pay. His request is turned down by school management. He approaches someone close to the owner to get his child through. Finally he is asked to deposit 15 thousand over and above the admission fee. Exploitation!!!
A friend of mine deposits Rs: 1800/= as monthly tuition fees in one school and another friend deposits Rs: 800/= per month in another school. The school system and infrastructure does not differ much so as to justify this disparity, but there is variation of more than 50%. How can this be explained!!!
Why this happens in our valley? Why this much of difference in tuition fee? Why they charge admission fee or donation? Prices are regulated for everything by the Govt., why not for schools? Accepted there has to be some freedom to schools in deciding tuition fee, but what do you do when they overcharge, and overburden parents? They charge capitation fee in the form of donation and admission, and in part, in monthly fees as well. Should Govt. permit these schools charge admission fee when it is banned in whole of the India, and even CBSE run schools could be de-affiliated violating this law?
Schools teach us fairness, and they are schools only because they are fair, but in our case many of them resort to foul means. Every time we have been scrutinizing Govt. Schools only, giving private schools breather to exploit. Private School system was contributing a lot to the educational elevation of the masses, but it is now steeped in many diseases. The vitals are already gone: Education. The subsidiaries are flourishing: profit. And ultimately it has gone from profit to profiteering.
There have been a lot of reforms at National level, but strangely enough the fresh airs of reform don’t cross through into our place of living. Right to Education Act 2010, one such revolutionary step, which if implemented, will breathe in new lease of life into the system. But it is kept hanging. This act has many correctives to offer: let us see what it says about capitation fees:
“No school or person shall, while admitting a child, collect any capitation fee and subject the child or his or her parents or guardian to any screening procedure. Any school that receives capitation fee shall be punishable with fine which may extend to ten times the capitation fee charged.” The law is clear that no fees for admission could be charged. If the said admission fee includes tuition fee then that part of admission fee is not capitation fee. What do our schools do? They charge admission fee, voluntary donation which does not include any tuition fees. This all comes under capitation fee. Even if SRO 123 of State Board of School Education allows some admission fee then could it be more than 2500 to 3500. How do people digest paying around Rs: 30 thousand and more as admission fee! This is illegitimate. This is sheer injustice. Furthermore, screening or interview is also banned Nation-wide and any school found violating the rule shall have to bear the fine to the tune of 25 thousand rupees for first contravention and 50 thousand for each subsequent contravention. You are well aware how parents have to pay through their nose to the school at the time of admission, and how innocent children are subjected to torture called interview. Shouldn’t Govt. intervene?
Capitation fee and collection of advance tuition fee is the biggest hurdle in imparting quality education. Usually a parent, who is not well satisfied with the quality of education provided to his ward by a school, is afraid to withdraw his ward from that school, not that he will not get admission anywhere, but because his advance tuition fee and admission fee will not be returned. I ask why? Even if he bears this loss, the new school will be waiting for him like a shark, ready to extract hefty admission fee and other fees under flimsy grounds. So the parent will have to eat a humble pie and allow the school to exploit, and the schools make big buck. If the admission to schools is made free, without any overburdening charges, these schools will have tough time to retain children. So they will provide quality at fair price. The existing system favours them wholly and pains the parents fully. Can’t we expect School Education Department to intervene in this regard? Can’t we expect Honourable Chief Minister to take cognizance of the issues before the impending school session?
The author is honorary member of School Reform Movement, J&K. The author can be mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lastupdate on : Thu, 23 Aug 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 23 Aug 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 24 Aug 2012 00:00:00 IST
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