Teachers of Delhi’s private schools can look forward to a big raise in line with the recommendation of the sixth pay commission. Parents are dreading it, fearing they would be made to foot the bill.
Representatives of the National Progressive Schools’ conference, umbrella body of 100 private schools of Delhi, met Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Wednesday to seek government’s approval.
They were told a committee would be set up to look at this demand and it will have a month to submit its report. The pay commission has recommended a 100 per cent raise in salaries of teachers.
“The private schools will meet the Delhi education director on October 16,” said Jyoti Bose, principal Springdales (Dhaula Kuan) and a member of the schools’ conference.
Despite being run privately, these schools need the government’s permission – education directorate’s actually -- to raise the tuition fee under the Delhi School Education Act 1973.
The parents who spoke to Hindustan Times refused to be identified fearing backlash from teachers. They said they fear a huge fee hike is coming their way.
The raise due to the teachers will be calculated with retrospective effect from 2006. And the burden, parents fear, will be passed on in the form of a tuition fee hike of around 50 per cent.
A parent who pays an annual fee of Rs 40,000, for instance, may have to shell out Rs 20,000 more, in one stroke.
“I have two children studying in private schools,” said a parent, adding, “I may have to arrange Rs 2 lakh as their fee if this hike goes through.” No school was willing to confirm the figure of 50 per cent. But it is not being dismissed as too unrealistic. After the 5th pay commission in 1997, schools had demanded 40 per cent.
Some schools, in fact, had proposed hikes up to a whopping 400 per cent then. And they may have got their way but for groups like Social Jurists and Abhibhavak Sangh (parents’ association).
These organisations went to high court, which allowed the schools a one-time hike of 40 per cent. But the schools were prevented from passing on the arrears to the parents.
“The court told them they could not pass on the financial burden to the parents,” said Vijender Gupta of the Abhibhavak Mahasangh. Gupta is also the MCD chairman.
This time around too the schools may not get any luckier.
Delhi education minister Arvinder Singh Lovely said the government was going to assess the funds of each school and make recommendations for fee hikes for each school separately.