Parents say managements forced them to pay fee for extra classes

As admissions under the Right to Education Act in unaided schools for the next academic year are all set to begin from January, parents have urged the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to streamline and bring in transparency in the process.

Some of them, who attended a seminar here on Sunday, explained the hurdles they faced in the current academic year. The event was organised by the RTE Task Force. Twenty-five per cent seats in unaided schools are reserved for “weaker and disadvantaged” groups under section 12 (1) c of the RTE Act.

Sumalatha (name changed), whose son got a seat in Class 1 this year, said the school management pressured her to pay fees for extra classes. “Even Education Department officials urged me to pay up to ensure that my son does not face any discrimination. Though some other parents had to pay the fees, I refused to do so saying the government is reimbursing the fees for our children.” She said that there was a need for united action against school managements if they were exploiting parents.

Nagarathna K., a resident of Vittal Nagar, who could not get admission for her son this year, said: “Most of those who apply for admissions are from the poorer sections of society and do not understand the process. Some officials exploit this situation and make us run from the pillar to post for submitting applications. The school management tells us to submit the applications to the Block Education Officer (BEO) and the officials at the BEO office tell us to submit them at the school.”

Nagasimha G. Rao, convener of the RTE Task Force, alleged that there were many loopholes in the admission process and urged parents to unite and lodge complaints to the Karnataka State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights if the department or schools do not comply with the rules.

He said the DPI should bring in a transparent selection process.

A handbill on the admission procedure under the RTE quota was released.