Friday, March 25, 2011

Donation menace in city school are in prowl

Violation of rules continues in Mysore despite strict warnings

If you have thought about waiting till April to get
your son or daughter admitted in school, then forget it. There will be no seats available as most of the reputed schools have finished the admissions process.

Parents have already begun to scratch their heads to find a good school for their wards. The parents have to stand in queue only to get the application from the schools they wish to get their child admitted. The average fees in Mysore for
the admission to LKG admission is Rs 40,000 which has caused good business for money lenders.

There was a time when the main emphasis of any academic institution was to disseminate knowledge to everyone irrespective of the financial status of the seeker. Education was completely off limits for money seekers. But with commercialization rapidly spreading its tentacles, even education was not spared, becoming just another kind of business to earn easy money.

Today the donation menace has reached such extremes that for parents to provide quality education to their children even at the Nursery or Primary level has become possible only for a privileged few. Though for affluent families it is not an issue, it is the middle-class and poor families who are affected most by this scourge called donation.

Providing education to children in prestigious schools and colleges has become a real nightmare for most of the middle class families as it is becoming expensive year after year. Most parents and wards are borrowing money, sometimes even from private money lenders at high rates of interest, in order to admit their children in prestigious schools with the hope of providing a better education.

Mysore is renowned as a centre for excellent academic institutions. But this city too, like other cities is plagued with the menace of donation which has reached to such extremes that it is spoiling the academic atmosphere.
Just as complaints started pouring in about donation menace in media and press, the government stepped in and formed a task force to ensure transparency in admission fees and to crackdown the donation menace in aided and unaided schools by insisting on providing reservation of seats for all categories of children.

To ensure fair distribution of seats it was made mandatory to announce on the notice boards all details like fee structure and admission procedures. Though most of them have provided these details in their application prospectus, no details about fees and reservation, or the pattern of allotment of seats are made public. Even today many of them continue to collect donations though it is prohibited under law.

Most of the private institutions have already begun to issue the applications for nursery and have been asking the parents to pay registration fees to book the admission for their children. Till now almost, all the private institutions expect for a few have almost completed the admission process.

While, some schools have started the admission process, the others schools claim to have not started the process, Baden Powell School Principal Sahdev said that the admission process would begin only after March 31.

When Express spoke to few people who have admitted their children after paying hefty donations, most of them complained about the bad education prevalent in government schools which forced them to go to private schools.

"If government schools also provide quality education like the private or aided institutions, we definitely dont mind enrolling our children to a government school. The level of maturity seen in a first grade student studying in a private school is often not seen in a 7th grade student studying in government school. Instead of introducing populist schemes like the mid-day meals, giving away free bi-cycles etc let the government concentrate more on imparting quality education. They should instead take steps to increase enrollment of children in government schools, as in most of these schools there are no infrastructure facilities, sometimes even good teachers, which the government should first concentrate upon."
- Prabhuswamy, Retired Teacher


"Though it is every parent's dream to provide quality education to their kids for a better future by seeking admission in a good school, it ulitmately depends on our financial capabilities". - Sowmya

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"I am a middle-class family man. I brought an application from one of the prestigious school in the city to enroll my kid for pre-nursery. The fee is Rs. 45,000 per annum. As I don’t have that much money, I was forced to borrow it on interest and paid the fees. I always wanted my kid to study in a good school."
- Raghu, VV Mohalla

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"Parents should not pay any money for admission. They should strongly oppose it. Most parents are afraid to complain about donation menace, fearing that their kid may be refused admission in the school. People should start fighting against this menace. At least if some parents stand up against it courageously and fight the donation menace, then it can be controlled. Improving public awareness in this regard is the need of the hour".
- Prakash, auto driver
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Roaring business for money lenders
Money lenders usually have a roaring business every year especially during January to June, because that is when the the school admissions are held and also it is the time when the houses are relcoated nearer to school in order to better manage extra expenses.


What DDPI say

Compared to last year, four new schools have come up this year and we have given instructions to both schools and parents alike, not to collect or pay any donation. But parents continue to give money in the form of contribution.

According to Section 39 of Karnataka Education Act, if any of school has been found violating the law and if any complaints come from the public that it is indulging in donation, then, such schools will be de-recognized and there licences cancelled. Also Application forms for admission should be issued only after the results are announced.

Public can call the following numbers to lodge a complaint regarding donation – 2490025 / 94489-99349. They can also submit written complaint to DDPI Deputy Director, Nagendra Kumar.

How schools are updating…
In today's competitive world, most schools are investing large sums of money in order to provide good education. Providing better computer lab facilities, introducing modern teaching aids and paying better remuneration to retain good teachers many more. At the end what we can say is all requires money.

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