Caught in the Acts: Pvt schools can’t hike fees, don’t have funds
With the state, on Monday, announcing that all unaided schools (barring minority-run institutions) would have to bear the financial burden of the 25% quota students, schools don’t know where they will raise from where they will raise so much money.mumbai Updated: May 16, 2012 01:21 IST
Schools said that they do not have the money to pay for so many children.
With the state, on Monday, announcing that all unaided schools (barring minority-run institutions) would have to bear the financial burden of the 25% quota students, schools don’t know where they will raise from where they will raise so much money.
The state has promised to compensate them for up to Rs 10,000 per student, per year, but the average annual fee in these schools ranges from Rs20,000 to as high as Rs10 lakh a year.
“We will not be able to pay teachers, thus we will get poor quality teachers and have to cut back on extracurricular activities,” said Kavita Aggarwal, principal of DG Khetan International School in Malad. The school charges between Rs 35,000 and Rs 75,000 per student per year.
Schools are caught in a double bind, particularly as the Maharashtra Educational Institutions (Regulation of Collection of Fee Act) Bill placing stringent conditions on raising fees.
Now, a school can raise its fees only once in three years, that too after obtaining parent-teacher association and education department approval.
Unaided schools are also worried if they will be reimbursed in time given the government’s dismal track record in paying arrears of non-salary grants to aided institutions.
“The government is saying they will pay us, but they take so long to do so,” said Sitalakshmi P, headmistress of Modern English School in Chembur. “There are lots of problems ahead.” Some schools have decided to talk to parents to better tackle the issue.
“We will have to come up with other revenue models. It will not just be the management’s responsibility,” said said Pinky Dalal, chairperson of JBCN International School in Borivli.
“We will talk to parents to find a sensible solution, We will also have to ensure there is no compromise on quality education,” she added. The school charges an annual fee between Rs 50,000 to Rs1 lakh per student.