Education is the basic right of an individual in our country. It is one of the few elements that can really make change possible in our country. But when that very element itself is being bred within the walls of corruption, I guess it’s high time we think about this.
Nursery school admissions in Delhi
The very city that houses the government of India, unfortunately, is today a breeding ground for corruption. This line is in reference to a system introduced by the Delhi government, or rather, a system of insanity and senselessness that made every school in Delhi an institute of corruption. ‘Point System’, which was introduced according to which each applicant is allotted points based on the criteria designed by the school. And the ‘eligibility’ criteria? Parents win points if they are housed near the school premises, if they are an alumni school or if one of their children is already studying in that school. If the parents don’t fall in any of the above criteria, the student may not eligible to study in the school.
If the system of education is this insane in the nursery level itself, then what would be the condition at the higher levels? The Indian Express survey says that 44 percent of the parents are likely to apply for more than ten schools, and around 47 percent of the parents are likely to apply for less than ten. This shows us the wide variety of corrupt institutions in the national capital, leaving the parents the only option of bribing in order to get their children educated.
School education in Delhi – An overview
The total number of schools in Delhi is around 5,500. And if we look at the fees figures, we are bound to get shocked. Most of the nursery schools in Delhi charge more than IIT. If we look at the present fee structure in IITs, it is around 50,000 per annum. In addition to this, hostelites are also required to pay an extra 20,000 for food, accommodation and other facilities. On the other hand, reputed nursery schools in Delhi charge over 75,000 per annum as admission fees alone. The annual fees is a whopping 1,70,000 and besides all this, there are extra charges which amount to another 50,000 for transport and other facilities.
An another example can be given of a Noida school, which charges 61,000 as admission fees, and in addition to this, there is 26,000 per quarter. The justifications given by the school authorities for the high fees are high class educational systems and faculty. They say that the fees paid is very much proportionate to the facilities they provide. What is more unfortunate is, most of such schools don’t even provide a receipt for the fees paid.
Corruption in School Admissions: some facts
In a worrying instance, the Director of CBSE New Delhi, misuses his power and position pathetically and gets the children admitted to CBSE affiliated schools in the city. There are high levels of corruption involved here too. In addition to the physical cash, the Director also gets multiple air conditioners fitted in his home. What is even devilish is that he doesn’t care to any extent to extract money from the poor parents. He ensures that he is not directly involved in the scene, and lures the principals of the schools and makes them make the corrupt transactions. It is an absolute shame that despite being the head of a noble thing like education, he is indulging in such immoral and corrupt practices, thereby polluting the noble platform of education.
14 schools in New Delhi have come under the scanner for mercilessly extorting money from the students, parents and also from the teachers. The teachers had reported that their cheque books are seized and they are made to sign on them. They have no idea where their salary goes.
Most of the parents blame the government for not taking any action. But there are situations, where the government cannot take any action if there are no complaints lodged. In this case, the mistake lies with the parents. They don’t come forward to take the initiative, but expect the government to do so. Action has to start somewhere.
What does “The Right to Education Act” says ?
According to this Act, every child in this country between 6 and 14 years of age should be provided with free and compulsory education. Here, ‘free’ education means all those children who aren’t admitted to schools by their parents will be exempt from paying the fees as that may prevent them from pursuing or completing their primary education.
The Hindu recently had quoted that the RTE Act of India comprised more of wrongs than rights. Firstly, we can’t deny the fact that the amount and quality of education given to both the rick kids and the poor kids are the same (in the elementary level). But, what would be the fate of the economical weaker kids once they finish their elementary education? The tuition fee itself is more than the annual income of their parents. In this case, the children are forced to quit such schools and get back to unrecognized schools.
Though the RTE Act has been passed in the government, it is not being completely and sincerely implemented. One reason for this is utter negligence from the side of the government. The flawed point system which restricts admissions to only those children falling under some ‘insane’ criteria, and children from rich families is very much unfortunate. Because of this, deserving students and students very much interested in studies end up with no admissions.
The other major problem is that over 270 schools in Delhi were given the lands at throwaway and cheap prices, but also with a condition that the schools must also admit children from the economically weaker sections of the society. The schools, however, have failed to adhere to this condition. Hence, the Delhi government began to pressurize such schools to get admission for poor children also. The government also specified its orders by stating that children from families whose annual income is below 48,000 should be given both free admission and free education in the schools. The sad part here is, this statement is applicable only for class 11 students. The government has stopped negotiating into the matter any further, and the schools have come back to their ruthless practice. The government is silent.
What should be done?
The Govt. Should regularize the admission process and fix slabs for admission fee and no school should be able to admit students, based upon the high or low admission fee. Thesre should be only one rule of thumb for admitting anf schools should not be able to fill seats based upon the crieteria that suits them to take high admission fee. To do this whole admission system should be centralized, and parents should be able to apply at one place to all schools. A education regulator should be assign to keep track of whole process without corruption. RTE guidelines should be followed to help weaker section children get good education.