Filing Online RTE Forms: Cyber Cafes Fleece Illiterate Parents

Published: 03rd February 2015 05:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd February 2015 05:59 AM   |  A+A-

HUBBALLI: If not anyone else, the state government’s decision making it mandatory for parents to file applications under the Right to Education (RTE) Act online has made cyber cafes and anganwadi workers a happy lot.

For, they are making quick bucks by charging hapless parents anything between Rs 300 and Rs 500 to help them file the applications online.

From this year, the government has restricted parents seeking admission to their wards under RTE from filing applications offline.

The decision has already drawn severe criticism from parents, especially from those who are computer illiterate. They have been asking the government to allow offline submission of these  applications.

To add to this, internet centres and a few anganwadi workers in Hubballi-Dharwad have been demanding exorbitant amounts from poor parents to help them file the applications.

Speaking to Express, Poonam Adoni, a resident of Simla Nagar in Hubballi city, said, “A staff of a cyber cafe in this area is demanding Rs 300 for filling up the online RTE application form. Since I do not know how to operate a computer, I have to heed to his demands. After bargaining, I managed to get it done for Rs 250.”

Prior to this, Poonam was approached by an anganwadi worker who demanded Rs 500. Like Poonam, there are several parents who have been robbed by these cyber cafes.

When asked, the owner of one of the cyber cafes in Anand Nagar area said, “We are charging Rs 150 for filing one online application, much lower than the other cafes. The other cafes are charging between Rs 200 and Rs 300.”

When his attention was drawn to the issue, Deputy Director of Public Instruction S B Kodli said, “Parents need not go to cyber centres. We have opened a special counter in all block education offices (BEOs) in the district. Parents can make use of these centres.”

Hard Copies Accepted

Umesh Bommakkanavar, Block Education Officer, Hubballi city, said, “Parents can also submit hard copies of applications to the schools in which they are seeking admission. The school staff will file applications online and give an acknowledgement for the same the following day.

“We had formed a team of eight nodal officers, who visit each and every school and check the application-receiving process,” he added. 

Sharmila Hemanth, principal, M R Sakhare School said, “We are accepting hard copies of the applications as well as online acknowledgment letters. Most of the parents come here after filing the application online.”


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