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Pvt schools 'extort' orientation fee

New Delhi, Avinash Singh Sudan, April 17, 2013, DHNS:

Parents grumble against exorbitant amount for two-hour exercise

Private schools in the capital are extorting money from parents seeking nursery admission for their wards, in the name of orientation fee, which is over and above the admission and monthly fee.

Some parents silently pay the amount, others speak up against the malpractice.
A parent told Deccan Herald that she had applied to Apeejay School at Sheikh Sarai in south Delhi for her daughter’s admission in lower kindergarten for the 2013-14 session.

“After her name appeared in the first list, the school asked us to pay Rs 36,700. But they didn’t tell us that it was orientation fee,” she said.

“The orientation was a two-hour session in which the school authorities had organised a lecture by a psychiatrist. After the session they told us to pay Rs 36,000 as admission fee. By that time we got a seat in another school,” she added.

The orientation fee has not been refunded, she said. “Now the school says you may only get 40 per cent of the amount,” she added.

Sumit Vohra, founder of admissionsnursery.com, said, “Many schools are extorting money from parents by charging exorbitant amount as orientation fee. We have been getting complaints from parents about this practice.”

“But some established schools don’t charge any money for the orientation. They say it is a false practice and we shouldn’t encourage it,” he added.

Another parent complained that K R Mangalam World School in west Delhi’s Vikaspuri area had asked for a huge orientation fee for the admission of her son. “But we declined and got our son admitted to another school,” she said.

An educationist said the practice has been going on for quite some time. Those who get admission do not dare to speak up against the school authorities. It is causing a hindrance in the delivery of quality education, he added.

Despite repeated attempts the school authorities did not comment on the issue.

HC notice on admissions

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought the city government’s response to a PIL seeking directions to formulate fresh guidelines for nursery admissions in tune with the RTE Act, which prohibits screening of children in admission at the entry level, reports PTI. The court issued notices to Delhi government and Lieutenant Governor. The bench sought their responses on a PIL filed by social jurists through counsel Ashok Aggarwal, who alleged Delhi government has given free hand to schools to lay down the procedure of admission to nursery and primary classes.


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