Bengaluru: When the Lokayukta police caught a cluster resource person of KR Puram Block Education Office (BEO) on Tuesday while demanding Rs 20,000 from an RTE aspirant to issue a caste certificate and block a seat in a private school, they apparently touched only the tip of an iceberg.
For it’s deep-rooted racket and private schools have alleged harassment from middlemen, who are using gullible poor parents to make money.
As per the RTE Act, 25% seats in private schools has to be reserved for poor students from families with an annual income of less than Rs 3.5 lakh. The admissions under the RTE quota began on Monday.
Mansoor Ali Khan, secretary of the Management of Independent CBSE Schools Association (MICSA), said even those not eligible for RTE seats have been producing fake income certificates with the help of middlemen to get admission in reputed private schools. Some principals said they have seen applicants coming in cars and demanding seat under 25% the RTE quota for the under-privileged.
Kempana Gowda, secretary of Christ School, Kurubarahalli in northwest Bengaluru, claimed that when they rejected the application of some students from families with a high annual income, the parents returned a few days later with middlemen carrying fake birth and income certificates. “When we reject these applications, these middlemen claim they know the local MLA or the councillor; they even call the BEOs who force us to accept the applications,” he said.
Besides, RTE aspirants can apply only to schools in the ward they are residing in. However, Mahesh AR of Sunrise Public School, Penya II Stage, said some middlemen are providing five fake electoral voter ID cards with different residential addresses, so that a candidate can apply to five different schools in different wards.
D Shashi Kumar, general secretary of the Karnataka Associated Managements of English Medium Schools (KAMS), said some schools are not bothered about this racket as the government would reimburse the fees of those children who under the RTE quota.
Shashi Kumar, who also runs New Blossoms Education Society, claimed that some government employees have also applied for their children under the RTE quota.
ONLINE PROCESS FACILITATES SCAM
The online RTE process application process launched by the state government this year seems to have come in handy for middlemen. Nagasimha G Rao, convenor of the RTE Task Force, said many poor candidates haven’t applied as their parents are computer illiterates. Middlemen, he said, are luring the lower middle class parents to get seats for their children in elite schools by taking bribe. “This year 95% of applicants hail from lower middle class families, middlemen collect some money from them during the time of applying. They receive another payment after the child gets admission,” he said.
WARNING AGAINST FAKE DOCUMENTS
“Parents should not take the help of middlemen. We have already issued a circular regarding this. This year, we have received about 4 lakh applications for 1.19 RTE seats, if anyone complaint to us regarding submission of fake documents, we will take action.”
– Mohammed Mohsin | commissioner for public instruction
Anatomy of a racket
*Kids in class II apply for class I under the RTE to get admitted in elite schools by producing fake documents with the help of middlemen
*Fake rental agreements and bank passbooks submitted as address proof
*of Those aged between 3 to 4years and six months are eligible to apply for LKG and those aged between 5 and 6 years and six months are eligible to apply for class I under RTE. But candidates who don’t belong this age group are producing fake birth certificates.
*Parents shift the house from one ward to another ward, where reputed schools are situated.
Source: Times of India