On Saturday, Malini (name changed), who recently shifted to Bangalore from Hyderabad, went to a prestigious CBSE-affiliated school on Kanakapura Road, to collect application forms for her children in Class III and VIII.
As she was about to return home after making inquiries at the school's office on the admission process, a security personnel approached her. He gave her a mobile number, saying that the person could “help” in the admission process. He also assured her that she “need not worry about anything” and the admission would happen without a hitch. Though surprised, Ms. Malini decided to contact the person to gather more information. She called up the number and the person at the other end told her that he could “guarantee” seats in the school.
He told her that the tests conducted by the school were a “non-issue” and even if her children scored less in tests, he would ensure seats, provided she paid Rs. 50,000 per seat. This, of course, would be besides the “development fees” of Rs. 75,000 per head that the parent would have to pay the school.
With the demand for “good” schools on the rise and parents willing to go to any length to ensure admission for their children in these schools, a few touts seem to have sprung up to cash in on the admission rush.
However, school authorities The Hindu spoke to said that they were unaware of people who pose as middlemen and advised parents to be wary of such imposters.
“Some unscrupulous elements try to make use of the situation. Parents need to be careful when such people approach them. They have to inform the head of the institution or the office immediately to initiate suitable action,” said Manju Sharma, Principal, Delhi Public School (Bangalore South).
Echoing similar views, Deepa Sridhar, Principal and Director, Sri Kumaran Public School, said: “All the information related to admissions is there on our website. Parents must exercise caution when anyone makes false assurances.” There have also been some instances of schools themselves being approached by touts. Principal of a school in Vasant Nagar said that a person had approached their school sometime ago saying that he would help the Class 10 students to join a prestigious college nearby. He promised to “organise” everything for a fee per student “irrespective of the percentage scored”. However, the principal turned him away saying that they do not encourage such methods.
Education Department officials, when contacted, said they were unaware of the presence of touts. “We can take up the issue and write to the Central boards if someone comes forward to complain to us,” said Education Secretary G. Kumar Nayak.