Concerned over private schools across the country hiking their fees, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is looking at ways to make the educational institutions segregate the amount into basic and premium components.
Sources said while the first component would be paid by all students, the premium part would apply only to those opting for specific extra-curricular facilities. A CBSE panel instituted to overhaul the ground rules for granting affiliation to schools is expected to make this recommendation.
Once the CBSE governing body accepts the change, the rule would be applicable to upcoming schools as well as the 18,000 existing ones.
“The two-tier fee structure will enable those who can’t afford the steep fees to opt for only the basic component – which covers tuition charges and bare necessities. Facilities such as horse-riding and swimming can be made optional and charged separately as the premium fee,” a CBSE official said.
The point, he clarified, was to separate the academic and extra-curricular aspects of the schools – so not everybody was charged for every facility. The board has been receiving complaints about schools charging exorbitant fees. Over 80% of the respondents in a survey recently conducted by LocalCircles, a citizen engagement platform, demanded high school fees be regulated.
Chanda Sarma, the mother of a Class I student in a Delhi school, voiced her approval. “There’s no reason why a parent should not have the right to decide,” she said.
However, not everybody was convinced. “This will create a divide within the class... Legally, socially as well as practically, it is not feasible,” said Khagesh B Jha, coordinator of the All-India Parents Association.
Moreover, if a significant proportion of students decided against using a facility, it would raise the costs for others, he added.