Saurabh Das/Associated Press
Every year, parents race to get their kids into one of the better schools.
From standing in long queues to paying bribes to school officials, the woes of parents trying to get their children admitted to good nursery schools, where demand for places far outstrips supply, are many.
But Mumbai-based Archana Bajaj had enough: To expose the flawed system, she decided to carry out a sting operation on a teacher who promised nursery admission to her 18-month-old son in return for a bribe, NDTV television news channel reported Wednesday.
Ms. Bajaj had earlier tried to get a place for her toddler through regular means, but after being repeatedly snubbed by school authorities, she decided to fight back.
After being informed by a school employee that a teacher named Tulip, who goes by one name, could help her get her child admitted to the school, Ms. Bajaj agreed to pay the bribe.
“I met Tulip who told me she could arrange for a seat for my child if I pay her 25,000 rupees ($500) as donation,” Ms. Bajaj told NDTV.
So, before the teacher visited their residence to collect the amount, Ms. Bajaj placed a hidden camera to record the transaction. The video shows the teacher accepting the money.
However, even after Ms. Bajaj showed the video footage to school authorities and turned to the police, her problem remains unresolved. She still wants nursery admission for her kid in the school.
Both Ms. Bajaj and Tulip could not be reached for comment. The school principal could not be reached for comment.
The demand for private schools in Indian cities has blown up as government-run schools are generally in tatters. Every year, parents race to get their kids to one of the best schools.
A common problem faced by parents is the absence of transparency on the admission process and on the parameters used to select children.
Education expert R. Govinda, who is Vice Chancellor of the National University of Educational Planning & Administration, a state-run think-tank, said “it is the leverage given to schools that leads to manipulation and confusion.”
“The admission process should be transparent, hassle-free and very objective,” Mr. Govinda said.
Via: India Real Time