|(Photo courtesy: tamilspider.com)|
Wealthy parents in Tamil Nadu vie each other and seek new ways to donate money to top ranking schools in the state to ensure admission for their children in the kindergartens.
This has also redefined capitation fee, which has now become "informed contributions" and "returnable investments."
P. Balram (name changed) was particular about the school his daughter should go to and he was willing to go to any extent to get admission there.
So, before the school could ask for a donation, he offered to set up a computer lab for 700,000.
It was an offer the school couldn't refuse.
Another parent got an admission for his child in a school in Mylapore by promising a basketball court that cost 1.7 million rupees.
Educational consultant K. R. Maalathi said parents were willing to cough up huge money for such "gifts" for additional benefits.
"Parents feel that it not only gets them a seat but goes a long way in promoting goodwill between students and the school management," she said.
While the federal ministry for human resource development is drawing up a law to eliminate excess fees and capitation fees in schools, parents are playing along school authorities to find newer ways of money exchange for seats.
Some schools have started treating parents as 'stakeholders' for a price.
Instead of getting loans from banks, a new age school in the city's outskirts has asked parents to lend the management any amount of money in multiples of 10,000 rupees for which the school will pay the interest rates offered by banks.
Sunitha Grace (name changed), mother of two girls, said she had offered the school management 200,000 rupees toward future projects taken up by their school.
"I was saving it for their education. I don't have anything to lose," Sunitha said.
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