May 02, 2009

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Govt circular to schools on fee hike
KOLKATA: After a string of street protests by parents against a steep fee hike in schools, the state government has finally decided to rein in private schools from raising charges on their own.
The government bears the dearness allowance (DA) of teachers in these schools. Till now, private schools thought they were a law unto themselves and hiked fees without bothering about guardians' grievances. Director of school education Dibyen Mukherjee issued a circular to these schools on Monday to take guardians' approval before raising charges.
"It has been brought to our notice that quite a few English-medium schools have either raised or are contemplating raising their fees in order to disburse salaries of staff in accordance with government norms. Such actions have caused widespread resentment among guardians. The director of school education has requested to take a reasonable and judicious approach while deciding on a hike in school fee after consulting the guardians' forum," the circular says.
However, the circular does not specify what should be done by schools which have already hiked their fee. A majority of schools have gone for an overhaul, hiking their fees by as much as 30% to 80% in some cases. In monetary terms, these hikes range between Rs 275 to even Rs 2000 a month from April.
Modern High School has increased its fee by Rs 500 from nursery to class XII. "We had informed guardians in December, so they shouldn't complain. This had to be done in view of the growing costs of teaching," said principal Devi Kar.
The fee for students in Patha Bhavan's junior section (Montessori to class IV) has been hiked by Rs 300 a month. "But no other charges have been added," junior school principal Pradipta Kanungo was quick to add.
Schools contend they have to hike fees as teachers' salaries have been increased by the Pay Commission. Ballygunj Shiksha Sadan principal Sunita Sen said fees have been increased by Rs 275 a month from Rs 1250 to Rs 1525. Admission fee has been increased from Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000.
At Mahadevi Birla Girls' HS School, a class VI student now has to pay Rs 1,150 a month or Rs 3,450 a quarter.
Shikshayatan Girls' School has increased the annual fee from Rs 15,820 to Rs 17,990 for the senior sections. "We have hiked the tuition fee from Rs 7,800 to Rs 8,700 and annual sessions charge from Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000," said a school official.

School fee hike shocks parentsBangalore: Schools raise fees by up to 60 per cent in slowdown year, leaving parents shocked and angry
Bangalore's schools have hiked their fees by a staggering 20 to 60 per cent this year, leaving parents, already reeling under the slowdown, angry and agitated.
Some schools have doubled their tuition fees. Managements tell parents to expect a yearly hike of 10-15 per cent, but 40 and 60 per cent fee hikes are being seen as horribly insensitive in a year of pay and job cuts. At Deccan International School, parents protested the hike in fees for primary school students from Rs 25,000 to Rs 32,500. MiD DAY's persistent efforts to contact its management, over three days, met with no success.
Presidency School in R T Nagar has increased its monthly fee from Rs 1,400 to Rs 1,800.
Innisfree House School has announced a 32 per cent hike in term fees, paid once in four months, for primary school students. Children of class 5 have to now pay Rs 14,400 per term (paid once in four months) compared to Rs 10,900 last year. Again, its staff couldn't put us on to anyone who could explain the increase.
Delhi Public School has hiked the term fee (paid once in three months) for high school students from Rs 4,900 to Rs 6,150. Kumarans School was charging Rs 36,000 as a total fee inclusive of all expenses for children going from class 5 to 6. This year they are charging Rs 43,100 as tutuion fee, Rs 10,000 for bus and Rs 5,000 for books and uniform.
"That they increased fees at such a time is what makes it insensitive," said a Kumarans parent. National Public School has different fee structures at different branches. This year they have announced an 8 per cent hike in the annual fee. Admissions for a kindergarten class this year will set you back by a good Rs 65,000.
"Parents are afraid of job losses. It is not easy to pay higher fees this year," said Ramya K, whose two children study at National Public School.
Association take "Schools can hike their fees by 10 to 15 per cent every year, and new schools can charge higher fees... But the ICSC and CBSC schools which have hiked their fees by more than 30 per cent this year should justify their reasons to their central board councils in Delhi," said Krishna Iyer president of Karnataka Association of Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools. The Karnataka education minister has promised to step in and help parents, but Krishna Iyer was sceptical the state government could do anything in the matter of fee structures.
"Nevertheless, schools have to follow guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court, which state that schools should keep in mind the economic status of parents when they increase their fees. Schools cannot flout this guideline," he said.
Fee hikes: How much, where?
>>Deccan International School: Rs 25,000 to Rs 32,500 (30%)
>>Presidency School tuition fee: Rs 1,400 to Rs 1,800. (30%)
>>Innisfree House School term fee: Rs 10,900 to Rs 14,400 (32%)
>>Delhi Public School term fee: Rs 4,900 to Rs 6,150 (25.5%)
>>Kumarans School: Rs 36,000 (all inclusive) class 5 to 6 last year.This year, it is Rs 43,100 (tuition fee), Rs 10,000 (bus) and Rs 5,000 (books and uniform). (61%)
Minister seeks infoPrimary and secondary education minister Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri said he would gather information before deciding what to do. "I will find out which schools have hiked their fees. I have to see whether our department has received any complaints. Once I have all the details, I can initiate action," he told MiD DAY.
What is the legal position on fee hikes?M F Saldanha, former high court judge, said, "There is a substantial increase, which is not right. A reasonable increase is always permissible."
He said parents would find it difficult to pay high fees in a slowdown year.
He said the government had the authority to step in and question educational institutions. "I remember, few years ago in Mumbai, private schools went to court when parents objected to a fee increase. The court gave a judgment that the schools had the right to charge as they pleased, but I was against that judgment," he told MiD DAY.

Govt serves notice on school for fee hike
News4u-News Desk-Jaipur, Apr 1- The Rajasthan Government today served a notice on Delhi Public School-Jaipur for allegedly hiking school fee for upcoming session, an official said.
According to Principal Secretary of Education Department R P Jain, the notice returnable in three days was served on the basis of media reports alleging school for fee hike.
Appropriate decision will be taken after school management’s reply, he said.
Meanwhile, parents of students have decided to not to remit increased fee.
A delegation of parents under the banner of Parents Coordination Committee-Jaipur today met school management and urged to withdraw the hike till the report of the government committee over fee structure is not implemented.
An office bearer of the Coordination committee alleged that the school had increased its fee for session 2009-10 upto 60 percent as compared to that of session 2008-09 at a time when the fee committee of the government is to make public its report regarding suggested fee structure.

Fee hike in private schools:
A bird's eye viewRecently, the views of some parents regarding fee hike in private schools in Odisha have been published in different news papers and electronics media. The authorities of the schools are remaining silent on this issue. They do not feel to forward any statement in this regard.
Nowadays parents are showing overriding interest to register their wards in private schools. It might be having a lot of reasons. Probably answers to this query may be varied. May be transaction of curriculum in different government schools fail to attract the parents or the authorities concerned of such schools are not that caring to meet the expectations of the parents.
Further, parents are not satisfied with the facilities provided by the government schools. Either the infrastructure or other facilities provided to the students by different private schools are well thought-out to be advanced and fit for contemporary scenario in comparison to the government schools or the syllabus adopted by government schools possibly is not up to the expectations of the parents.
That's why a number of private schools are gaining the confidence of the public. In addition to this, parents do not have confidence in our State Board results as it can be manipulated at any time even with the wish of the political people or talking in English may be considered as the status symbol for many parents.
In our state, ‘No Objection Certificate' from the government is mandatory for opening up a private school. The first and foremost condition of getting N.O.C. for establishing a private school is that the school must provide salary and other facilities to its staff at least at par with the structure implemented by the government.
Secondly, an institution can adopt the fee structure as per the facilities it provides.
Thirdly, they can't enhance the fees at the middle of the session.
Fourthly, fee hike can be materialised only after a thorough discussion with the parent members of the Managing Committee. Incidentally, a number of grievances are cited by parents in this regard. How to choose this one or a couple of parent representatives for the School Managing Committee?
Whether an election would be held for this?
Whether to select those who judiciously ponder over the interest of the parents and the staff?
Whether to select as per a particular rule or to accept two parents from a particular group? Whether, the Govt. will send a couple of representatives from the Parent-teacher committee formed by it? Or, two from such barely 20/30 parents those who howl in front of the school and demonstrate strike by locking the school gate? Or, to turn the sacred premises of a school into a political platform where contemporary politics would reign by virtue of the prevailing political parties?
The government must demarcate its scope and chalk out a well accepted way for this.
Some schools are affiliated to I.C.S.E. or C.B.S.E. The very affiliation stands as an inevitable incitement and makes the school authority bound to give salary and other facilities according to the affidavit submitted. Any deviation in this regard leads to the cancellation of the affiliation. It is at this back drop, the private schools are predictably found in a virtual stalemate. This has poised a big question, whether the private school will stick to the proclamation made by the state government at the time of granting the NOC or the affidavit submitted to the concerned boards. In order to be true to the words (the affidavits) the predicament for all the private schools seems to be identical.
The doubt is further zoomed if one thinks about the number of schools adhering to such conformity. If yes, then what's the number? Whether our government has such statistics?
Now and then this has also been alleged by some that the staff members are not given their due salary. Is it a fact or a rumor? If this allegation is a fact, the situation is really alarming. To analyze this one has to muse about the profit-making intention of the Managing Committee. If the schools act upon the sworn statement, do they have any plan to implement 6th Pay facilities to the staff? Whether the 5th Pay structure is in operation? This is also apparent for the government to detect. If the schools are in tact with all such implementations, adopting 6th pay structure for them is undoubtedly a justified due and they must do it. Since private schools are self-financed, the implementation of the 6th pay structure in such schools can be done only through the fee hike.
For further clarification, one can take the verdict of our judiciary. One can take into account the judgment delivered by the Supreme Court in its 11 members bench, vide Case no. 481 in 2002. This is the highest number of judges involved in the judgment in the history of Indian education. The verdict evidently mentions that fee hike is absolutely a matter of the Managing Committee. The Committee can procure fees from the students as per the requirements of the school. The government should not interfere. To add, the bench of the Supreme Court has also commended that the results produced by private schools are far better than the government schools. There is no compulsion for the students to take admission into the private schools as the schools provide quality education to the students who have taken admission by their choice. The school authorities can't be restrained from charging the fees required for running the institutions. If all these matters are considered it is difficult to find out an acceptable solution to the problem. As education is in concurrent list both the centre and state have the joint responsibility to resolve the problem.
Further, it is also noticed that the admissions for the coming session in these schools are deferred. Usually, admissions are opened in the month of January or February. Perhaps this has been postponed as the new fee structure has not been finalized till date. The delay, no doubt, has made the new aspirants seeking admission for their children stand on a cross road. They are anxious about a quick solution to this problem.
In this regard the notice served by the state government dated 24.01.09 seeking detailed information from the private schools regarding the enhancement of the tuition fees has not yielded desired results even the time frame given in the letter to comply such has been lapsed.
It is the moral duty of the government, Managing Committee of the schools and the parents to come forward and find an amicable solution.
From the above analysis three things are quite obvious – Firstly, the government should inspect the records of the schools and decide the fee hike, or the Parent's Association/school authority should seek the intervention of the court and be ready to abide by the verdict. The third probable solution is that the government should withdraw clause of N.O.C. that depicts the staff members should be paid at par with the government pay and to instruct all the educational boards of the country to withdraw this clause also. Or the government should announce openly that it is not mandatory to stick to the affidavit. But to lock the school and demonstrate or to give statements to the mass/electronic media or to increase the fee in a profit motive does not serve the purpose. For this we will be answerable to our future generation. If the student & parent communities do not pay respect to the teachers or the teachers do not pay caring attention towards the students for the attitude of their parents, no doubt, the foundation of the educational system will break down.
So let us come forward and work for a consensus that will ensure our children's bright and prosperous future.

Three schools asked to roll back fee hike
NEW DELHI APRIL 29. Coming down heavily on public schools which arbitrarily raise fees, related charges and demand donations for admission, the Director of Education has summoned the principals and managements of Rukmani Devi Public School, Pitampura; Mount Carmel, Anand Niketan; and Rai Public School, Lodhi Road. They have also been directed to withdraw all unjustified increases failing which they would face strict action.
Taking a serious view of complaints received from parents and various other organisations, the Delhi Education Minister, Raj Kumar Chauhan, took the initiative and directed the Director (Education), Rajinder Kumar, to initiate steps to take control of the situation. Subsequently, the principals and managements of these schools were summoned and issued directions to be followed in all the cases. "I have been receiving complaints about the arbitrary hike in fee by certain schools and the indifferent attitude of the school managements. It has also come to my notice that in many schools the Parent Teachers' Associations have not been formed, that is a serious violation. The Department has taken a serious view of the whole situation and will not spare those schools who fleece the patients,'' he added.
The Director (Education) has directed the Rukmani Public School, Pitampura, to roll back all the charges they had levied from this academic session and charge only Rs. 1,200 as annual charges only which the managing committee was charging before increasing the fee, to charge computer fee only from students of Class XI and XII and not to hike any fee in any field. Similarly, Mount Carmel, Anand Niketan was asked to return the donations charged from the parents and send a copy of the acknowledgement from such parents, to submit an undertaking to the effect that the managing committee of Mount Carmel will not charge donations from any parents and to abolish the system of donation seats immediately.
The Rai Public School, Lodhi Road, was asked to roll back all charges levied from this academic session because they have already hiked the free much more than the permissible limit during the last two years. The school management has also been told to not hike any fee in any field. In fact, the issue had also been raised by the Delhi Abhibhavak Mahasangh which had launched an agitation in favour of the students. The Mahasangh convenor, Vijender Kumar, said certain guidelines needs to be formulated for schools so that they do not fleece parents at their own will. He said the lax attitude of the authorities was responsible for such a situation and said stringent action should be taken to make it a lesson for others.
Mr. Chauhan said the managing committees of these schools have been directed to strictly follow these directions and they have given specific assurances and undertakings that they would be doing so. He said other schools should also take a lesson from this and not resort to such practices. The schools should act responsibly and not indulge in practices which bring them bad name and adverse publicity. Stating that while the Government was not interested in interfering in the functioning of the schools, Mr. Chauhan said this should also not be taken as a blank cheque to effect unjustified decisions.

The Principal, Mr Manit Jain , Mr S C Jain The Heritage School, Gurgaon
Dear Dr. Mahesh Prasad,
The Parents of children studying in The Heritage School have been very disturbed over the issue of arbitrary increase in the school fee announced recently by the school management. The parents have met in the last few days and have discussed the matter with all sincerity and seriousness.
It is felt that the proposed fee hike is unreasonable and needs to be looked into taking following into consideration:
Advisory issued by the District administration to school managements:
Schools to defer the increase of fees and collection of arrear upto 30th April'2009.
Schools to invite all parents for complete discussion with facts and figures transparently.
Schools to submit Form 6 and display their last audited balance sheet for parents to have understanding of their financial health.
Few Other Facts and concerns:
The school fee in 2004 was Rs.10000 approx. per quarter and in the present year is Rs.24000 approx per quarter which translates into an increase of 240%.
School has not only increased the fees by almost 240% but has also increased the Students: Teacher ratio from 1:20 to 1:30+ which effectively translates into 360%+ increase in revenue for the school in last 4years.
The salary hike of teachers is for all schools irrespective of their fee being Rs1000/- or Rs10000/- p.m. across the country but no where the hike is so steep.
Delhi High Court ruling and Delhi Govt. guidelines to restrict the increase in fee by not more than Rs500/- per month & arrears of not more than Rs 4500/-.
Even Schools like Vasant Valley which have better student teacher class room ratio than Heritage have only increased the fee by Rs. 500/- per month and arrears of Rs. 4500/- in all. The same is true for most other prominent schools in NCR.
The increase of Rs.1500/- p.m for 1600 students translates to Rs. 24,00,000/- per month. Not taking into account the fresh admissions.
For 175 teachers this increase translates to Rs. 13,714/- per month per teacher irrespective of their grades.
The average increase in salary of teachers over the old pay scale is only 30 % approx and not 70% as stated in the circular.
Additional fee is charged for sports & Music by school which is Rs800/- to 1000/- per month. Which never gets accounted for?
While other schools are charging Rs750 per month for the bus heritage charges Rs1500 per month and last time the school management had increased the bus fee on account of increase in diesel cost which has now come down substantially.
The Bus fee in the last four years has also been increased from approx from Rs1900 per quarter to Rs4500 per quarter.
What we want?
1. Total transparency, sharing of data and roll back of fees in line with district administration guidelines till further decision and solution is arrived.
2. School needs to be more transparent about the actual regular teacher (excluding adhoc) and the number of students to arrive at the actual incidence of 6th pay commission,
3. The ratio of 1:9 teachers - student appears to be too good to be true. The actual number of students each section are average 30.
4. The Increase in maintenance & development Charges is also unwarranted as the development has already been done and the cost of new wings being added for various other reasons should not be recovered from the parents. It should be from internal accruals or by way of investments from the trust.
5. Considering the poor market condition and disturbed time ahead, it is requested that School meet part of expenses from its internal accrual and not pass on 100% to parents.
6. The bye laws, provisions or directives of CBSE for affiliation, Haryana School Act Education Act 1995 & DC & SDM Gurgaon are adhered to.

Karnataka School puts fee hike on hold
PUNE: After a sharp reaction from parents, Dr Shamrao Kalmadi High School (Karnataka High School) has cancelled its earlier circular hiking the annual fee by Rs 7,000. The final fee structure is likely to be announced by the month-end.
Karnataka High School had raised the fees of students to Rs 20,000 for all classes from the next academic year. The present fees for Std V to VII and VIII to X are Rs 12,800 and Rs 13,800 respectively. Parents received a circular concerning the hike on March 31, around the same time when many other schools announced a rise in fees.
Parents were annoyed by the steep hike. The school management, on the other hand, justified the hike, citing various reasons. Sensing opposition from parents, the school circulated a fresh note on April 9, saying the earlier circular on the fee hike, stood cancelled.
The note was signed by headmistress Kamini Saxsena and society secretary Kushal Hegde.
“The school announced the withdrawal of the earlier circular on the same day, when we were to submit our petition to the management. We are thankful to the school management for reconsidering the hike,” said one of the parents. A fresh decision on fees is likely to be conveyed on April 29, the day of the results, he added.
The school management was not available for comments.PUNE: After a sharp reaction from parents, Dr Shamrao Kalmadi High School (Karnataka High School) has cancelled its earlier circular hiking the annual fee by Rs 7,000. The final fee structure is likely to be announced by the month-end.
Karnataka High School had raised the fees of students to Rs 20,000 for all classes from the next academic year. The present fees for Std V to VII and VIII to X are Rs 12,800 and Rs 13,800 respectively. Parents received a circular concerning the hike on March 31, around the same time when many other schools announced a rise in fees.
Parents were annoyed by the steep hike. The school management, on the other hand, justified the hike, citing various reasons. Sensing opposition from parents, the school circulated a fresh note on April 9, saying the earlier circular on the fee hike, stood cancelled.
The note was signed by headmistress Kamini Saxsena and society secretary Kushal Hegde.
“The school announced the withdrawal of the earlier circular on the same day, when we were to submit our petition to the management. We are thankful to the school management for reconsidering the hike,” said one of the parents. A fresh decision on fees is likely to be conveyed on April 29, the day of the results, he added.
he school management was not available for comments.

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