Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Community/Caste Certificate While Admitting Children In Schools

My maid said today said that she needed one day's leave for getting 'community certificate' for her children for changing their schools and admitting them in a new school.  She had one earlier which she lost while shifting houses.

She got the last one, 3 years back and she spent a whole day going to 3 offices, in different places.  She lives in Thoraipaakkam, Chennai.  She had to go to Sholinganallur and then to Saidapet and then back to Sholinganallur.  On the way, she had to 'pay' to 4 people, Rs.50 each to move/sign the papers! Now, she may have to 'pay' more...3 years' gap might have enhanced the 'charges'! She has got a ration card. Her community is dhobi (washer man), though nobody in her family works as a dhobi now!  She doesn't get any concession in the school fees...she is joining them in a private school.  Why do they ask for the community certificate, I wonder.  She never used the community certificate anywhere else until now, she says, nobody else asked for it.

Our driver is a Christian.  He said that he too went to the Taluk office and got the community certificate for joining his children in a private Christian school! No concession in fees, here too! Then why do they ask for the 'community' certificate?

I remember filling up my children's application form.  In 'Community' section, I wrote 'Hindu'.  I didn't fill up the 'sect' section, I remember distinctly.  No questions were asked.  Nobody asked for 'Community' certificate.

Hmmm...I called my relative who is a teacher in a famous school in the this city, Chennai, just now. Their school also is insisting on 'Community' Certificate, it seems! They are collecting these certificates for the past 2 years, from all students. Weird, isn't it?


I remember now. Last year some government school teachers came home for collecting census details. Or so I thought. They had actually come to collect details of our community. "Jaadi Kanakkeduppu", we were told. They asked for my sect details also. Just "Hindu" was apparently not enough. I refused to fill up the sect details.

They seem to expect even infants to know their caste. Where are we going?



Destination Infinity said...

I don't think our school insisted on community certificate. Even colleges don't do that unless one is applying under BC/MBC quota, I guess.

Ironically, it's these schools that teach - Jaadhigal illayadi paapa!

Destination Infinity

SG said...

First of all, please tell me, why do they need this certificate. Once we give to the school, what do they do with it? I don't understand. Please tell me. Thanks.

radha said...

Anywhere else, community, refers to a group living in a particular area, where you share common facilities and resources. In India it means something else altogether. What does the school do with it. Are they in anyway contributing to the Census data ! Ridiculous.

Sandhya said...

DESTINATION INFINITY: First I was shocked to know that the schools ask for community certificate when they are not offering any concession in fees and the parents are not asking/plan to ask for a concession in fees. Then when my relative who is working in a reputed school said that they collect this certificate from all the students...it was unbelievable. Jaadigal illaiyadi paappa, booklethan!

SG: Even I don't know. As I mentioned they are not using this to offer concession in fees. The famous school which charges a lot for tuition fee and other things after collecting a hefty sum as donation, is not offering any concession to students. They are collecting these certificates from all the students for the past 2 years, my relative said.

'Forward' community gets a certificate from Taluk office, panchayath or Corporation saying that they are 'Hindu's!


RADHA: Here, 'community' is given a different meaning. This is just paper wastage! My children don't know much about 'caste' etc. The govt. is teaching children from their infant age!

Good to see you here, Radha!

Shail Mohan said...

Even I have not understood why we should mention caste/community anywhere at all. Isn't it a private matter?
They say the census is to know about the numbers of each, but believe me, the numbers are used for a different purpose definitely.

Sandhya said...

SHAIL MOHAN: Our country has got just 3 major communities, Hindu, Muslim and Christian. They can keep an account via census details. Why do they want to know in school? People who want to avail of the special seat allocations, fee rebate etc. which are given to SC, STs by the govt. can be asked to produce community certificates but others?

As you say, this might be used by the political parties for 'other' uses.

BK Chowla, said...

I have never experienced this.
But,point is different..Educational institutions have been politicised in India and depending upon who is in power uses that power for personal or community benefits.
In crude words....they divide the society which they have done for decades and results are here for everyone to see.
It is for civil society to ensure system works for benefit of Indian soviety

Sandhya said...

BK CHOWLA: I am hearing about the CBSE schools asking for Community certificate from all students for the first time. My relative is working in a famous CBSE
school. I wonder if it is like this in other states too.

It is just politics everywhere.

B said...

Maybe they are doing some census or something ..
otherwise there is no reason to collect them ..
In india everyone is Indian..

Although here in UK in a lot of forms we have to put , but then this is used for a lot of purposes t ofind diversity and also to help out .. in case some schools have more of ethnic population , like the school nearby where 90% of kids are asian..

so they have to cater for that .. hence the question of asking the question ..


Usha Pisharody said...

I am sure this practise is against the RTE Act, and is necessary only if any sort of concession either in relaxation of age/ fee is sought. However, the practise is most certainly prevalent. Very backward of the system if I may say so. Sigh

Avada Kedavra said...

That is meaningless actually. I mean, before giving admission why do they need to know the community?! Doesn't make any sense.

Sandhya said...

B: They used to ask for the community certificate if people wanted concession in school fees or seats in colleges etc. which was applicable for SC/ST students. No concession was offered to other people and so nobody asked for the community certificate. This is unusual. We don't have much people from outside our country. Hmmm...we will know in due time.

USHA PISHARODY: As my relative says, this is prevalent for the past two years. I just wanted to know if all the other states' CBSE schools follow this...my relative works in a CBSE school. But my maid and driver's children are in a State board school! I am confused now!

AVADA KEDAVRA: Yes and no school has offered concession for my maid's and driver's children. They just ask for the community certificate.

Praveen said...

Baffled by such practices. I have never heard about it in any other state till now.
I think parents should for a community to oppose the prctice against community certificates. At least get the RTI filed to know about the reason for it & for what purpose they are being collected.

Jeevan said...

It seems community/caste certificate is a must when admitting a child to government school and college.

When I was in 5th STD my class teacher asked me my caste... but that time I don’t know anything about that so couldn't answer her. In the attendant register I have seen students name along with BC/MBC mentioned aside. Like DI said, even if we want to learn Jaadhigal illayadi... we need to mention our Jaadhi!

Rachna said...

This is terrible. In my children's school there is no caste declaration or certificate needed.

proactiveindian.com said...

Nobody knows how 'Community Certificate' is of any use. Yet, the schools collect it because they will be penalised if they don't do so. Parents submit it because their kids won't get admission if they don't do so. In the process, a lot of time, money and energy is spent.

Some of us love to divide ourselves on the basis of religion, caste, state, language, etc., etc.. The rest of us have no option but to be divided thus.

எம்.ஞானசேகரன் said...

Today i faced the same problem. They are asking community with out any reason.

Sandhya said...

PRAVEEN: Welcome to my space, Praveen! I somehow missed acknowledging some of the comments. Sorry!

I think they ask for it in all the states in India, just for political purposes, nothing else.

Thanks for the comment!

JEEVAN: Yes, I agree! It will never go out in India!

RACHNA: That is very good. Hope other states also follow this!

PROACTIVE INDIAN: Yes, I agree with you!

M.GNANASEGARAN: Welcome to my space, Gnanasegaran! Yes, they are doing it. We go with the crowd and provide whatever they ask!

robin said...

hi all,

the same issue I am offending every year, While joining they requested for CC and Birth certificate. Now every year they are requesting for it. I dono why they want and raising questions but no answer from school and they say CBSE rule. Does anyone have the rules of CBSE for Collecting CC from students and respective section/clause, so that i can fight with that to school

Sandhya said...

ROBIN: Thanks for commenting, Robin!

I have no idea of the current status in CBSE school rules, Robin, sorry!

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