A large number of schools have taken to the Internet to "sell" their schools, not just to advertise, but to also initiate the admission process by offering the application forms online.

Kumar was looking for a good school to admit his son to Class 1 but he was not quite prepared for the “offer” that came his way from a school near Yelahanka.

The school authorities told him that he would get a “discount” on donation if he admitted his son early.

“The school authorities said that if I admit my son to their school right away, they will give me a 30 per cent discount on the donation amount of Rs. 25,000. They tried convincing me that if I take time, I will have to end up paying the full amount,” Mr. Kumar recalled.

Angered and shocked by this unabashed “trading” in school seats, he complained to the Right to Education (RTE) Act Task Force formed by a group of non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

This is only one of the varieties of complaints that the task force is receiving, as admissions are on in full swing in schools.

Private schools are not only openly flouting the warning from the Education Department by starting admissions much before January as stipulated and demanding hefty donations in several guises against the rules, but are also resorting to marketing gimmicks to attract admissions.

Marketing

A large number of schools have taken to the Internet to “sell” their schools, not just to advertise, but to also initiate the admission process by offering the application forms online. Some of them are even emailing the forms to parents, said Nagasimha G. Rao, convenor of the RTE Task Force.

Telemarketing also appears to be a popular mode of advertising. Meenakshi S., a mediaperson, said that she recently received a call from a school asking if she had a child to admit to the school or if she had any friends she could recommend the school to.

“One hardly expects such hard-sell from an educational institution,” she said.

School managements are also using existing students with younger siblings as easy targets. “They are asking the students to convince their parents to admit the siblings to the same school,” Mr. Rao added.

The task force has urged parents who come across such tricks by schools to contact it on Ph: 9880477198.

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