Scam, say parents and students, to favour a few coaching centres in Srinagar
Srinagar: The 10% departmental quota for poor students in private tuition centres of Kashmir valley without any charges has turned out to be full of discrepancies, with names of hundreds of enlisted students appearing in admission lists of different coaching centres.
Last week, the Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) had said that a total of 6,418 students belonging to economically-weaker sections would get free coaching at private coaching centres of Kashmir valley. The list of such students was compiled by the department under 10% reserved quota for poor students and accordingly sent to respective tuition centres for admissions.
However, the list of shortlisted students, which lies with Kashmir Reader, is full of inaccuracy and discrepancies with hundreds of students being allotted two different tuition centres simultaneously, leaving no chance for others to figure in the list.
In the 143-page list, the names of a large number of students can be seen repeated twice, the same student allotted a different tuition centre each time, while in a few cases the names are even repeated for a third time against a third tuition centre.
The tuition centres which are repeated against the same names in the list are among the top and prominent ones in Kashmir, most of them in Srinagar city.
The DSEK, after releasing the list of eligible candidates, had said that all the students were scrutinised for verification and documentation by the departmental committee initially, and only after that the list was sent to respective coaching centres for their admissions. The students eligible for the free coaching included economically weaker sections, orphans and physically challenged ones.
The list, however, speaks more of the selective approach of the concerned department towards some tuition centres, mostly the prominent ones, allowing them to either evade or admit less number of students under the free quota.
The list, when observed thoroughly, is filled with repetition of names from beginning to end, the only dissimilarity being the allotment of the coaching centre to the student. The first student in the list, namely Misba Majeed, is shown as allotted the Aakash Coaching Centre but the name figures again at the third number, now against Bright Career Institute. On the second and fourth number, another student named Harleen Kour has been allotted two different coaching centres, Aakash Coaching Centre and Edusol Coaching Centre.
Similarly, On 13 and 15th serial number, a girl student has been alloted two different coaching centres – Aakash and Panaash. Again on 115 and 148 serial number, another girl student is seen against two different coaching centres, again Aakash and Panaash, both operating in Srinagar city.
On 291 and 323 serial number, a boy student can be seen selected for two coaching centres, Aakash and Takshilla Coaching Centre, while on serial number 112 and 145, a girl student has been allotted Aakash and Edusol Coaching Centre both. On 521 and 522 serial number, another girl student has been selected for two coaching centres, Aakash and BCI.
The list goes on revealing repetition of names with the allocation of different coaching centres. On 5575 and 5578 serial number, a boy student has been allotted two coaching centres, Panaash Paraypora and Pulse Rajbagh. Interestingly, one student going by the name Arbaz Khan can be seen as having been allotted four coaching centres under four different serial numbers – at 4828, 4829, 4831 and 4832.
The “faulty” list of selected candidates under the free quota has left parents as well as students shocked and aghast. They allege that this practice is being carried out by insiders of the school education department for the past few years to favour certain top coaching centers of the valley.
”I observed this resemblance of names even last year too, but didn’t care much. But this year again, my eyes were struck by the names of students repeated again and again against different coaching centres. This is extremely shocking. Even the poor people have not been spared. The list is made by the school education department and only the insiders know and deal with the selections in the list. This exposes a big scam by the insiders of the department in connivance with owners of coaching centres operating mostly in Srinagar city,” Abdul Majeed, a parent, said to Kashmir Reader.
Apart from the gross disparity in the list, he said, the allocation of the coaching centres is being done against the preferences of students. “I’d preferred three coaching centres which were easier for my daughter to reach. But none of them were allotted to her. Instead, my daughter was allotted a coaching centre many kilometres away. Due to this my daughter failed to avail the free tuition and now she studies at home. Same is the case with the daughter of my friend, who was not allotted any of the preferred centres. This is being done deliberately to create hurdles and to prevent the students from studying in the coaching institute of their choice,” Majeed said.
The students, too, are now demanding an inquiry into the list.
“This is a clear case of fraud, happening under the nose of the department to favour a few tuition centres. Our future is at stake. There should be an inquiry into this whole list, and questions should be asked to each one who has been involved in the process of preparing it,” said a student in Srinagar.
The Director of School Education Kashmir denied any discrepancies in the 10% quota list, saying the list has been compiled with utmost transparency and all the errors in the list stand rectified.
“The list has been compiled after proper scrutiny of students with utmost transparency and fairness. All the mistakes in the list have been rectified and there isn’t any possibility of discrepancy in the list,” Muhammad Younis Malik, Director School Education Kashmir, told Kashmir Reader.
Asked about the allocation of coaching centres, he said that the centres have been allotted according to the preferences of students. “The coaching centres have been allotted exactly according to the preferences of the students. Special attention has been given to it to prevent students from facing any difficulties,” he said.