New Delhi: Nursery seats are on sale well before the admission session in the national capital. An investigation by IBN7 has exposed that as much as Rs 2-3 lakh are being charged for each nursery seat, and some of the top school chains in Delhi are involved in this. What is even more shocking is the fact that seats for poor kids are being sold for lakhs of rupees and the Delhi government has said that it cannot do much.
Much before the Delhi government notification for nursery admissions in January 2013, schools in Delhi have opened the admission process. One such parent got an SMS supposedly from the well known Presidium school. The father of the child said, "They called us and asked for a donation of Rs 1 lakh."
It was then that IBN Network channel IBN7 decided to get into the roots of the scam. A reporter posing as a parent contacted the school and was called to the Mother's pride school in Rohini. Mother's Pride is a pre-school chain that has now branched into schools.
Mother's Pride: There are five Presidium schools...we have 48 branches of Mother's Pride that act as feeder branches for Presidium. Actually there are many playschools that act as feeder branches for Presidium.
Reporter: So the student will be admitted into the 2nd class automatically?
Mother's Pride: Yes it will be direct because you are taking an admission in Presidium not Mother's Pride right now.
It was shocking to know that Mother's Pride was openly claiming they would get the child admitted directly into the 2nd grade, which is clearly a violation of the existing education norms. However, it wasn't just this. The school openly tried to lure us into booking a seat right then and promised to give us a discount:
Reporter: Our friends have told us that admission is very difficult.
Mother's Pride: The booking amount for Presidium is Rs 2.75 lakh...the fee, annual charge, development activity charge...everything is included. And if you decide today then I can give you some benefit in the fee amount. So the Rs 2.75 lakh will be reduced to Rs 1.75 lakh for you.
Reporter: So when the list comes out, the name will be in it.
Mother's Pride: You will get a receipt...you consider the admission as confirmed. Your child's name will come in our software.
To add to the scam, the school further demanded that nearly 70 per cent of the money be paid in cash.
Mother's Pride: It's a transparent mechanism...the money will be adjusted later. There is an amount for books that you won't have to pay later - Rs 76,225...in all Rs 2,76,225 out of this you can give us a cheque in the name of Presidium school for Rs 76,225 and the rest you will have to pay by cash.
Reporter: Will you give me a receipt for the cash amount as well?
Mother's Pride: You will get an acknowledgement slip from Mothers' Pride.
When we showed a little apprehension to pay so much money, another offer was given, and this one was as shocking as the others. We were offered to buy an EWS seat, a quota that is reserved for the economically weaker section.
Mother's Pride: Let me tell you one more thing that could benefit you, this is just between you and me. Would you like to come under the EWS category? You will need an income proof for that, are you aware about this? If you send your child to any school you will end up paying at least Rs 15- 20 lakh for 14 years. What we are doing for the children of our staff here is, if you pay the full amount for 14 years to us, you will have to pay nearly Rs 6-7 lakh, and your child can study from Presidium school...you will only have to pay extra for book, uniform and transport which you can afford easily.
Reporter: Is this a one-time payment?
Mother's Pride: This amount of Rs 6-7 lakh, you can pay some by cheque, and the admission will be done.
Reporter: So I'll have to pay half the amount now and the rest later?
Mother's Pride: You can pay any amount now...Rs 1-2 lakh.
Reporter: We'll have to get an income certificate made.
Mother's Pride: They will make it in Rs 3000-4000...what more...but don't tell anyone that I have given you this idea.
The investigation was then extended to the GD Goenka La Petite playschool in Rohini. The offer for a direct admission into the GD Goenka senior school was open here as well.
Reporter: If I get my child admitted in the playschool we have heard that the child gets direct entry into main school?
GD Goenka La Petite: It is possible. Students from GD Goenka La Petite get preference in GD Goenka senior school. But if you want a surety then we have seats in management quota.
Reporter: How much is the fee?
GD Goenka La Petite: You will have to pay nearly Rs 2 lakh.
Reporter: But how does the preference really work?
GD Goenka La Petite: When you fill up the form you shall be asked, GD Goenka La Petite forms get shortlisted separatel...we come under the GD Goenka School. That is the main point.
According to experts, this so called preference is against the government education norms. It will shake the confidence of hundreds of parents who are trying to get their kids an admission into a good school in Delhi. But the government says they can do little if parents don't come forward and file a complaint. This sting operation should open the eyes of the government and embolden parents to stop the sale of nursery seats.