+00002009-02-09T14:05:10+00:00282009bUTCMon, 09 Feb 2009 14:05:10 +0000 2, 2008 at 7.27 p02 (Uncategorized)
Private schools want freedom in deciding fees. It should be given if there is sincerity in delivering services to the public. But most of the schools are money milking machines. The over commercialization of education leaves less to desire. Human capital is the biggest source for the success of economy and society. It should be developed without compromising. Any efforts by private or public to water down the quality of education and making education unreachable for the average India should be ended immediately. It seems all the noise by the private schools about the government interference in fee decision is farce.
Manas Pratim Gohain writes in The Times of India (9.2.2009 p.2) “Schools have created a hue and cry about the “meager” fee hike of up to Rs.500 hike allowed by the government to raise teacher’s salary in line with the 6th Pay Commission proposals. But tuition fees is not the only source of income for schools – it accounts for only 35% roughly of the total expenditure that a parent incurs in sending his child to a reasonably good private school. The rest – around 65% – of school’s earning comes from transportation, uniforms, books, student welfare fund, club activities, annual day, excursions and development fund among others.
When schools determined to take their appeal for revising the hike to courts, parents are spending sleepless nights. A parent who pays tuition fee of more than Rs.2000 per month ends up paying approximately Rs.90.500 annually for transportation, school uniforms and other dresses for different fests and events organized by the school. “There are schools which charge even half yearly fees which are over and above the tuition and admission fees. We spend around Rs.1.80 lakh annually on my two kids. My husband is the only earning member and now we will have to shell out Rs.12,000 extra annually for my two kids as their tuition fee will go up Rs.500 per month,” said Monika Sharma from R.K Puram.
However schools find the government approved hike inadequate. The School Action Committee (SAC) has been meeting to discuss on fee hike of private schools in the capital on fee hike of private schools in the capital and the challenges ahead. S.K. Bhattacharya, Chairman, SAC, said: “We are going to appeal for a reconsideration on the hike. Otherwise how will the schools pay the salary of the teachers as per the 6th Pay Commission recommendation?”
Shomie Das the former headmaster of Doon School says that setting up a first-rate non-residential private school spread over a minimum of 5 acres of land for about 2,000 students would cost about Rs.30-35 crore.
“The construction cost, including the land, will lead to expenses of about Rs.25 crore. This is assuming the different buildings such as classrooms, auditoriums, and swimming pool are built over a total area of 200,000 square feet,” says Das who has helped set up 50 schools, including heritage (Kolkata) and Sanskriti (Delhi) in the past few decades.
Item Annual Payment (in Rs)
Tuition fee 6,000 -36,000
Transportation 4,800 –36,000
(School’s own transportation)
School Uniforms 3,000-4,000
Building Fund 500-1,500
Annual day 200-500
Development Fund 500-1,000
Pupil/student Fund 500,1,000
Half-yearly charge 500-1,000
Ticket Selling 500-1,000
(Given to students for selling)
Club activities 500-3,000
*Shops owned or set up by schools
The list is indicative
Non-residential pvt school
- Cost of setting up a school spread over 5 acres of land for about 2,000 students Rs.30-35 crore
- Construction cost of different buildings Rs.25 crore (assuming total area is about 2 lakh sq.feet)
- Staff salaries are 70% of operational cost
- Teacher-student ratio 1:15 to 1:20
Setting up a school over a minimum area of 20 acres Rs.75-100 crore
Construction cost Rs.50-60 crore plus the cost of land
Site development cost Rs.2-3 crore
Sports equipment, fittings Rs.5 crore
Staff salaries are 50% of operational cost
Catering expenses 30-40%
Teacher-student ratio 1:12
Keeping the crucial necessity of education for the overall development of the society, private school managements should fix their fees. Over ambition in making profit from the schools by taxing parents will lead to the large scale migration of private school students to government schools. This may create chaos and permanent deterioration of private schools financially. Better they act after analyzing the negative consequences of fee hike rather than blank demand for fee hike.