School fees hikes trouble parents; 83% blame state governments’ ineffectiveness

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Published: April 30, 2019 2:13:34 PM

Various parts of India including Telangana, Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh are witnessing excessive hikes in school fees which has led to protests by the parents at several places.

A continued hike in school fees has made children’s education less affordable with the current incomes of parents, with an overwhelming majority of them blaming state governments for failing to rein in the soaring fees. The state governments have not been effective in regulating private school fee increases, said 83 per cent parents polled in a survey.

Various parts of India including Telangana, Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh are witnessing excessive hikes in school fees which has led to protests by the parents at several places, LocalCircles said in a survey report. The survey, conducted to check the citizen pulse on the issue of school fees, received more than 38,000 votes from over 20,000 unique parents and grandparents from across the country.

Private schools have been increasing the fees in order to raise teachers’ salaries to fulfil the recommendation by the 7th pay commission, wage incremental factors like DA, annual increment to staff, higher gratuity etc, according to the parents.

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States such as Uttar Pradesh now have laws supposed to be regulating school fee. However, the effectiveness of these Acts is limited because of the lack of proper enforcement by state governments, schools and local administration, noted the survey.

Here, while 58 per cent parents or grandparents polled attribute the rise in school fees over 10 per cent to the lack of state regulation, 26 per cent attribute it to disregard by private schools and 16 per cent attribute it to the lack of enforcement by district officers.

The issue concerns many parents as their salaries are not rising at the rate of the rise in fees in their child’s school, thus, leading to many facing a squeeze in household and transportation expenses, added the survey.

While 29 per cent parents or grandparents polled said that the school fee is up by 10 per cent compared to last session, 43 per cent feel that the increase in fee has been 10-20 per cent.

The survey noted that so far only Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh have a law that regulates school fee increases. Therefore, it suggested that over 25 states must work towards bringing a regulation that prevents excessive school fee hikes.

Further, while 45 per cent of parents or grandparents polled said they want private school fee increase to be linked to inflation, 17 per cent want annual fee increase percentage to be capped and 38 per cent want the fee amount itself to be capped, the survey noted.

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