Times of India: Nashik: Wednesday, May 17, 2017.
A city-based school has allegedly admitted 85 students from its senior kg section to standard I under the Right to Education (RTE) Act 2009. The school has a total of 100 seats under the RTE.
Social activist Sandip Adhav managed to procure the details through Right To Information (RTI) and government portal. "The school filled 85 seats on its own without informing the parents. They apparently wanted to take fees from these parents as well as take grants from the government. Till the draw of lots on April 20 no one knew what was going on," said Adhav.
"After April 20, parents were called and alerted about the development. But these parents are well-established. The parents said they had not filled the forms. The admission is also given distance-wise and the distances from home to school has been changed. For a distance of 6-7 km they have mentioned 0.5 km. Details like address, birth date, income in the form were filled by the school," he added.
Unfortunately, the government has given the authority to the principal to verify the certificates of proof and it is not necessary to upload the certificates. Hence, the school took advantage of it. "If the government would have verified the certificates, then this would not have happened. In any case, this is duping the government," said Adhav.
Five-six common phone numbers have been mentioned in the forms against the contact number of the parents and these numbers belong to the school staff. Adhav said he and his volunteers had done on field survey and found out that 85 parents lived in plush flats and bungalows.
Sarika Salve, whose five-year-old son did not get admission under the RTE despite being eligible, said, "We are from the SC category. My husband is working in a private firm and I am a housewife. We live within a distance of one kilometre from the school and we are eligible for admission under the RTE. But even after the fifth draw of lots our son did not get admitted. It is very frustrating. The school is misleading the government and those responsible for it should be severely punished."
Jagdish Bodke, a parent who is a businessman and whose child has been admitted under the RTE, said "If my child is not eligible for admission under RTE then why should he be admitted. I did not submit any documents. I have not asked for it. I am ready to pay the fees. I was not even aware that the school admitted my child under RTE. I can educate my child and it is bad that the school is cheating the government in my name. They should admit needy students."
He added, "My son had already studied nursery before coming here. But the school asked us to admit him in nursery which we agreed. Then he studied in KG and the school admitted him under RTE in standard I."
He also asked the school to give in writing about his son's admission under the RTE.
Administrative officer of the civic body's education department, Nitin Upasani said, "We have issued two notices to the school. First, we asked them to submit all RTE records. The headmaster said that he was on a holiday. Secondly, we told him that the headmaster could not go on leave without permission. We asked him to submit the records on Wednesday. If he does not come we will send an inquiry team." The principal of the school refused to comment on the issue saying that he was out of Maharashtra.