May 09, 2009

Educationists slam fee hike by private schools

When do we see such grattitude from our very own Hyderabadi's ?
Thanks Priya for all your contributions ....

PUNE: Educationists and heads of renowned schools in the city on Friday joined parents and denounced arbitrary fee hikes in many private schools. They, however, had a word of caution about the proposed fee fixation committee.
Veteran educationist and director of New India School Meena Chandavarkar criticised unplanned hikes in fees in the range of a few thousand rupees and termed it as pulling the carpet from under parents’ feet.
She said, “Some city schools have increased fees up to Rs 8,000, which is totally unacceptable. Parents are by and large considerate and respond to schools’ genuine needs. But many schools had not even informed parents before the decisions were taken. It’s like stabbing them in the back.”
She said, “The fee structure of the school can be easily planned by anticipating needs. Parents also don’t object to a gradual increase in fees over a period of three to five years. In case of contingency, the school has the option of discussing the fee issue at the Parents-Teachers’ Association.”
Chandavarkar cautioned about the proposed school fee committee and warned that it should not become a green pasture for corruption.
She said, “The committee should also have enough infrastructure to expedite fee proposals in the same year.”
The government has skirted the burning issue of exorbitant donations for admission to kindergarten, she pointed out.
Sudheer Phatak, director, Millennium National School also denounced the 30 to 40 per cent hike in fees as unjustifiable. He said, “Unaided private schools have a right to decide their fee structure. But increase in fees within two years is not agreeable. Normally, a rise in fees every year should not be more than five per cent. Ideally, it should be linked to inflation. Schools should fix their fee structure for the next five years and declare it at the time of admission.”
He, however, disapproved the formation of the fee committee. The situation would not have worsened if government officials had followed rules concerning school audit reports before they hiked fees, he said.
GOVT ISSUES ORDERFollowing its submission before Bombay High Court, State education department issued an order on Friday, warning schools of cancellation of approval if they increased fees without permission of the proposed fee committee. The schools, which already announced hike in fees for 2009-10 would also have to abide by the committee’s decision, the order clarified.