Siblings Paradox: In Ahmedabad, One Pays Rs 70,000, Another Gets Admission under RTE!

A school in Ahmedabad has raised concerns about a student who has been granted admission under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, but has a sibling studying in the same school by paying an annual fee of Rs 70,000. The admissions under the RTE Act are meant for economically weaker families with an annual income of less than Rs 1.5 lakh. The district education officer has initiated an investigation into the matter. The school authorities suspect that the father of the student may be earning more than the RTE threshold and thus, the admission may be depriving a deserving student of a seat…

In a paradox of sorts, a student who has been granted admission in a school under the provisions of Right to Education (RTE) Act has a sibling studying in the same institution by paying Rs 70,000.

CBSE-affiliated Nirma Vidyavihar school recently raised the issue with the district education officer (DEO), complaining that the sister of a student who has been granted admission in the school under the RTE Act provisions studies in the same school paying an annual fee of Rs 70,000. Admissions under the RTE Act are granted to wards of economically weaker families with annual income of less than Rs 1.5 lakh per annum. The DEO has initiated a probe in the matter.

According to the school authorities, the child in question is the son of a person who identified himself as an examination assistant with a local engineering college. “For his two-year KG, the child paid regular fees. But when he got admission in Class 1, it was under the provisions of RTE. He has been studying in the school for the past two years,” said a school official. “The child’s elder sister, who has got admission under normal quota, studies in Class 10 in the school and pays fees as per rules.”

The official added that if the person – the father of the child – is on the payroll of the college, he could be drawing a government-grade pay scale. “The salary would easily be above the RTE threshold of Rs 1.5 lakh per annum. The person drops the child to the school in a car and resides in an upmarket locality. We also got the electricity bill checked, which is also in the Rs 4,000-Rs 5,000 range per bill cycle,” said the official, adding that the admission thus deprives one deserving student of the seat.

Vatsal Vaishnav, director of Nirma Vidyavihar, told TOI that the case has been reported to DEO for further probe. “We cannot expel the student or cancel the admission as it is under RTE. We wanted to bring to the notice of authorities the malpractices that get noticed by us,” he said. “We are hoping for quick action in such cases to prevent others from taking the same route.”

Ahmedabad DEO Rohit Chaudhary confirmed receipt of the complaint. “It is possible that there could be several such cases where one child would get admission under RTE. We are probing these cases as they come to our notice,” he said.

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