Rs 40 lakh donation for a School Admission

It is quite shocking that there isn’t more outrage over how India’s education system is completely messed up because of near-total government control. A friend I met recently talked about the troubles he is having getting his daughter admitted to LKG in Delhi. Of course, in Delhi everyone knows everyone else, and money flows like water. So, in some sense, it is a level-playing field for even the most well-to-do.

Schools have a rate card, with the better ones being able to command “donations” of upto Rs 40 lakh ($90,000). There is little or no transparency in the admissions process. Proximity to the school is no criterion for getting admission; only money talks.

Atanu wrote this in his post on this topic recently, after there was a Wall Street Journal article on the same topic:  “The government through its heavy-handed control and ineptitude has brought the Indian education system to this sorry state. The people are clueless about this fact — naturally so since they are largely the product of that same inadequate education system which does not equip them with critical thinking skills. In a different state of the world, the parents would have dragged out the bureaucrats in charge of controlling the education system and given them a sound whipping.”

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.

10 thoughts on “Rs 40 lakh donation for a School Admission”

  1. Its not just the “donations” that are the cause of concern.
    The average spending per child for basic school education, transport and other activities (including Birthdays etc.) runs into 10’s of lakhs for the first 10 years and then almost the same or double that for their graduation.

    The reasons for this sudden escalation in costs are many, but the fundamental ones are the entry of “international schools”.
    Big corporates and some of the well-known politicians are the partners/proprietors/promoters of these institutions.
    Hence there is a complete lack of interest to bring down the cost or to implement policies that will increase the number of quality education institutions.

  2. I have a wonderful solution for that. Every child of delhi should take addmission on Govt. Schools to stop this kind of correption. If everyone took this kind of stads then Govt. & Public schools Board realise over it. unless it will runnig as same ………..

  3. While I completely agree with the comments made about the sorry state of affairs in India, what irritates me is the comments from Wall Street. US should look in its own backyard before criticising “lack of critical thinking skills”. People who have watched the documentary “Waiting for superman” will surely know the state of affairs in US public schools-like school teachers have a guaranteed job-not related to job performace. Hello??

  4. Everyone is entitled to his or her own blind spot, and over the years this topic has been one of Rajesh’s favorites.

    In choosing a school how many people are actually thinking of grades alone, things like social status, the possibility of networking, the approval of others, budget considerations, even parking spaces, do play a role.

    The problem with Rajesh’s friend, I presume is that he does not fit seamlessly into any of the levels the market has erected for itself. I am sure that were he to look for admission to a government school, he could find it.

    Notice that the situation Rajesh refers to can happen only in a free market, and also notice that this is what the free market does to education (irrespective of whether it is in a licensed or unlicensed environment)

    Rajesh slaps his own face, and for Atanu, self slapping has become something of a religious ritual. The less said the better.

    Mark my words, these guys who bemoan government education today will be the first to bemoan the effects of private education too.

    The truth is that there is no real ideal state for education to be.

    Please don’t start off on gurukulas, the first manifestation of India’s thought leadership decay.

    Schools, to quote someone are only a means to education ( and something more), not education itself.

    Rather than bemoan the state of schools, let us see about revitalising education itself. The means to do so are increasingly available.

  5. the wsj also said

    ” Part of the problem is that while Delhi has about 2,500 public and private primary schools, elite parents target just the “top 20″ private schools, said Usha Albuquerque, director of Careers Smart, an education consultancy firm.”

    Anonymous commented that

    “Instead of trying to get kids into these so called “good schools”, why not just enroll them into a reasonably good school that provides value for money and pick up the slack at home. A good stimulating learning and fun enviornment can be created at home or in the community that would provide a much greater opportunity for kids to explore and socialize. Seems like the top 20 schools are really hyped up and just elevate the social status.”

    Neel’s comments provide the right perspective

    “To the lucky young ones who got in , it is jukku time as they say in Japan and their parents bragging rights in kitty parties.”

    Rajesh’s friend, was he looking for Jukku time?

  6. I noticed that this problem in China when I visited in 2005. I think when larger a population chases few opportunities, competition gets extreme and every second from a child’s birth is used to get them an advantage! It robs parents and children of life and lesiure.

    Its an issue in our country. We amplify this problem as parents when we think our kids can succeed only if they join a top 20 school.

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