Mumbai. A school principal wins this year’s award for the coveted ‘business person of the year’ announced a popular TV channel today, in India’s commercial capital. A school principal winning a business award created unrest among the top business leaders in India, even as the Faking News reporter contacted the channel for the firsthand story.
TV: Welcome FN! How are you doing today?
FN: Sir, may I remind initially itself that I am here to take the interview and I will ask all the questions, including the undemanding ones like ‘How are you?’ Today, I have the right to shout and repeat and make a complete clown of myself!
TV: Oh! Suit yourself! And shoot away!
FN: A school principal being given ‘business person of the year’? Kind of a first in India, isn’t it?
TV: Listen! We all know, for the past few decades, education has become the most profitable business in India. Nurseries, high schools, colleges, training centres and even some private universities make a lot of money year after year and it is about time we recognize the business model and reward the best in business, with awards. This is just the start.
FN: What is so special with education as business?
TV: By design, all the educational institutions in our country are supposed to promote, well… education, and cannot run like business houses. For example, they cannot openly advertise for a CEO Job opening, for a school, though most principals act better than a corporate CEO to generate maximum profit for the business at hand. Again by design, schools are supposed to collect only the fee, for the school year and not any donation or capitation fee, from the hapless parents. That’s where most school principals get creative in their business.
FN: How can a school collect donation from parents, when they openly advertise in the prospectus that ‘Our institution does not accept donation or capitation fee’
TV: We talked to quite a few schools on this, prior to picking Radop’s principal for the award. Many schools name their donation as activity fee or a special fee. Some schools even employ linguistic experts to coin new words that will make the donation look like some kind of an educational cost. Most of them could not do much more than getting synonyms for ‘activity’ or ‘special’. Our award winning principal terms the fee as ‘Enrichment fee’ and wins this year’s ‘business person of the year’. Along with ‘Enrichment fee’, the principal also devised a scheme to collect as much as 24 activities fees and a few special fees here and there to spice things up.
FN: Don’t the parents know?
TV: Well. Most of them do. Our system teaches them only to care about WhatsApp hoax messages and FaceBook likes. Some of them proudly post in their FB wall that they paid a couple of lacs for an admission into LKG. Our winner knows how to tap this madness and she is doing the business in all white, making her qualify for the business person of the year. Some nurseries take donation in huge sums in cash and do not leave any trace, not even as much as a piece of post-it receipt to say ‘received the few lacs, Thanks‘. #BlackMoneyList should really start from nurseries in our country.
FN: What is the school’s reaction?
TV: They like the award alright. When we talked to them, the school said: ‘Our motto is to do nation building by education for a better future. Don’t believe our business rival’s mockery of our motto as ‘donation and buildings!’