Parents sending their kids to private schools in the capital should be prepared for a 50 per cent hike in fees.
Private schools have already written to the Directorate of Education seeking permission for the hike.
“We have calculated the hikes as per the Sixth Pay Commission report. The increments of various grades of teachers ranges from 50 to 65 per cent across schools,” said S.L. Jain, chairperson of National Progressive Schools Conference (NPSC), an organization of some of the prominent schools of Delhi.
He added that arrears would have to be paid for 32 months.
“We are obliged to pay salaries and allowances as per government rules. Since all our income comes from tuition fees, a hike is imminent,” said Jain.
But the Directorate of Education has said it would not allow a blanket hike in fees across schools.
“We will evaluate the financial position of schools and the fee hike will be decided depending on the funds available with schools,” said Chandrabhushan Kumar, Director (Education).
Jain, however, said the government did not have the machinery to conduct checks across all schools.
“Even if a school has managed its finances well and has surplus fund, that fund is earmarked for specific purpose like gratuity and infrastructural development. It is not meant for paying salary to teachers,” said Jain.
Organisations said they would approach the court if the DoE refuses permission. “During the Fifth Pay Commission the High Court allowed 40 per cent increase across schools,” said R.P. Mallick, chairman, Federation of Schools, a collective of 300 schools in the Capital.
He added that the impact of the fifth pay commission was not very high as compared to the sixth pay commission.
Incidentally, schools are allowed a 10 per cent increase annually.
“The increase cannot be more than 10 per cent and it is necessary in order to pay for the annual increments of teachers and staff,” said Mallick.
Schools say the government is partially responsible for making education in private schools expensive.
“We are provided land, electricity and water at commercial rates. The government does not give us any subsidy,” said Jain. “Parents have to understand that they are buying a service. The running cost of schools, 85 per cent of which constitute salary of teachers, is paid by tuition fees,” he added.
But parents don’t seem to have a choice in this matter. “Our children are already studying and we cannot take them out because of a fee increase. It will be done across schools,” said Rekha Punj.