School Fees Soaring

feesPrivate 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

Blazers*                                   700-1,500

Books*                                3,000-4,000

Building Fund                         500-1,500

Annual day                              200-500

Excursion/tours                       300-500

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

Festival                                     200-500


Total 21,200-90,500

*Shops owned or set up by schools

The list is indicative


Expensive Affair

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


Residential school

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.





1 Comment

  1. Pradeep said,

    +00002009-04-04T20:34:38+00:00302009bUTCSat, 04 Apr 2009 20:34:38 +0000 2, 2008 at 7.27 p04

    Dr. you have nicely captured the greed in education sector. Government has to regulate fee charged else parents would be left with debts only.

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