250% rise in school fees in last 5 years
250% rise in school fees in last 5 years. Parents of school children will be coughing up more money as private school managements have decided to hike...
l A steep hike of 30-40% hike to be effected
l Parents aghast at managements’ decision
l Officials warn action, to act on complaints
l Say hike has to be fixed by school-parents’ bodies
Parents of school children will be coughing up more money as private school managements have decided to hike fees steeply. In last five years, some corporate and international schools have raised the fees by as much as 250 per cent. At present, some international schools are collecting up to Rs 4 lakh per annum. Contrast this with an MBA degree at good B-Schools which costs between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh.
Parents have to dig further into their savings more to pay the fee next year following the decision of school managements across the board to effect a hike of 30 to 40 per cent. In most international schools in the city, parents have to pay a one-time fee of Rs 75,000 followed up by term fee of Rs 28,000 (every three months). If the ward is availing the dining hall facility and avails of school canteen, one has to pay Rs 4,000 additionally. Besides, if school transport is opted for, over Rs 8,000 is collected for the distances exceeding 15 km.
If the trends in the hike of school fee are observed, they have increased by a staggering 250 per cent in the past five years. Meridian School back in 2006-07 used to collect Rs 27,000 as fee and for this academic year it was Rs 95,000. With the proposed hike, the fee for the next academic year will be to the tune of Rs 1,20,000. Chirec School, which is located in Kondapur, used to collect Rs 29,000 as fee in 2006-07. For this academic year, parents had to shell out Rs 2 lakh as fee. One might argue that this fee hike only pertains to prestigious and international schools, but now-a-days even other schools are charging fees ranging between Rs 40,000 and Rs 80,000. Slate, the school, in Abids, has increased fee from Rs 30,000 to Rs 47,000 in a span of five years.
Speaking to The Hans India, Masthanaih, Regional Joint Director (RJD) of Education, said, “We will take action against schools that are charging exorbitant fee. If a complaint is registered with us. There are three GOs 91, 42, and 1. We will implement these to put a check on the schools.”
Fees cannot be unilaterally increased by the managements; a committee comprising management representatives, officials and parents has to examine infrastructure and deliberate whether the fee hike is warranted. However, the managements of schools have approached the court against this move, and now this matter is sub judice. The GOs say that the management of schools should spend 65 per cent of fee on teachers, teaching methods and teaching aids. Of the rest, the managements are allowed to take only 5 per cent and the remaining should be spent on maintenance.
Achyuta Rao, the president of Andhra Pradesh Balala Hakkula Sangham (APBHS), flayed the move to increase the fee by a minimum of 30 per cent. He said it was violation of the Right to Education Act (RTE). “We have undertaken before the United Nations that by April 2015 there will be free and compulsory education to all in the country. The current literacy rate is nearly 70 per cent. If the education department doesn’t intervene to stop this hike, school fees will become a huge burden on low-income groups. The hike is a blatant violation of RTE Act. If the education department doesn’t act, APBHS will approach the Lokayukta,” he said.