Two Karnataka school organisations have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging corruption in the state education department, The New Indian Express reported on Saturday.

The Registered Unaided Private Schools Management Association and the Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka wrote separate letters on Friday, demanding action against Primary and Secondary Education Minister BC Nagesh.

The letters highlight problems such as renewal of recognition of schools, bribe demands by officials of the education department, building and fire safety compliance certificates, frequent transfers of teachers, harassment of schools and stoking of religious matters, according to the newspaper.

“Sir, we are very sorry to bring to your kind notice that a few leaders, under your leadership, have failed to understand the spirit of your functioning,” read the letter by the Registered Unaided Private Schools Management Association, The News Minute reported. “They behave like an uncrowned king. The education minister for primary and higher secondary education of Karnataka is one such.”

The letter also stated that the education department has started a new method of appointing three-men committees that visit schools and demand bribes, reported The New Indian Express.

“If not bribed, they will find some lacunae and harass the schools,” it alleged.

Lokesh Talikatte, president of the association’s Karnataka unit, alleged that the officials demand bribes of up to 30% to 40% for various approvals, The News Minute reported.

“Twenty per cent of the Right to Education reimbursement fee is taken by the deputy director of public instruction,” Talikatte said.

Under Section 12(2) of the Right to Education Act, the government is required to reimburse all private unaided schools for reserving 25% of their entry-level seats for children from the economically weaker groups.

In a phone call recording shared by the association, an unidentified official of the block education office is heard asking for a bribe from a school, according to the The News Minute that had access to the clip.

Talikatte told the web portal that officials of the education department demand bribes mainly for disbursing of the Right to Education amount or for renewing school recognition certificates, said.

“It has become infeasible to run schools as the bribes are more than what we earn,” he told The News Minute. “The officials say they pay the ministry in lakhs to secure a transfer and they make that money back by asking bribes from us.”

The association told the prime minister that it has evidence to back its claims.

The letter written by the Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka alleged that “unscientific, irrational, discriminatory and non-compliant norms” have been applied to schools.

“Two different BJP ministers caused damage to budget schools rather than those schools which are commercialising education, allowing more and more investors to set up, which will directly cost more fees per child,” the letter added.

Meanwhile, Nagesh urged schools to file complaints with the education department or the Karnataka Lokayukta, The New Indian Express reported.