May 28, 2010

Maharashtra to correct school fees, but after review

MUMBAI: In a move that will cheer parents and students, the state school education department has decided to review the fees of all unaided schools in Maharashtra and "correct" them from the ensuing academic year.

On Friday, the government passed two resolutions—one which thrashed the Bansal committee report which gave schools a free hand to hike fees, and the other which permitted schools to hike fees by a maximum of 50%, but only after the state's nod, to pay the Sixth Pay Commission scales to their staff, and an additional monthly sum of Rs 50 to pay the arrears of the new pay scales.

While the two decisions may sound contradictory, school education minister Balasaheb Thorat said: "For example, if an ICSE school charges Rs 3,500/ month, we will first check if this fee is justified based on the expenses and the income of the school. If yes, then the school can ask every child to pay the revised fee and Rs 50 a month so that it can pay the new salaries to its staff. If we find that the fee they charge is not justified, we will reduce it." The decision is applicable to every school in Maharashtra, irrespective of the board it is affiliated to.

May 26, 2010

How many schools can say NO to this fact ?

Andhra Jyothy | Tuesday 25th May, 2010 | Hyderabad Edition Page 11

May 20, 2010

Many city schools may lose international tag

HYDERABAD: The proposed central legislation to regulate international schools will turn out to be fatal for several city schools which call themselves international without holding required recognition.

With the proposed regulations suggesting that each of the international schools should have recognition from international boards, several schools in the city are trying hard to get IGCSE (International General Certificate for Secondary Education) or IB (International Baccalaureate) recognition years after they were set up.

Currently, only nine international schools out of the 45 located in the city and surrounding areas are registered with international boards. The rest teach CBSE and ICSE syllabus in their air-conditioned classrooms, calling themselves international.

With the central government planning to come up with a legislation for International and Global schools from the coming academic year, these schools might soon lose their international tag. Interestingly, most of these ‘international’ schools were established in the state in the past two to three years.  "The schools will have to drop the tag once central legislation comes into effect. The state government is only waiting for it to crack the whip on these schools," said Poonam Malakondaiah, the in-charge director of school education who has now been transferred to rain shadow department.

Interestingly, the central legislation also suggests that all international schools which offer international syllabus should offer state syllabus. There are two schools among the nine recognised ones in the city which offer only international syllabus.

Representatives of some of the international schools which were recognised by boards said the recognition process would take more than three years to complete and hence many of the new players have not yet started the paper work. "Most of the schools claim to have world class infrastructure. But none of them have the required classrooms and other facilities which can rank them as world class. So most of them are linked to CBSE or ICSE boards," an official said.

However, with a rising demand for international schools in the city, several managements seem to be hard selling the international tag even when they do not have recognition to run international curriculum. "The parents just want an international tag. The schools sell the tag well and charge huge fee ranging from Rs 80,000 to Rs 1.35 lakh," an official from school education department said. Meanwhile, some of the schools which had earlier tried for international board’s recognition are falling back to CBSE as it is also considered to be an ‘international syllabus’.
"CBSE is now offered in countries in Middle East and hence could be considered as international board. A school can be called international even if CBSE syllabus is offered there," said a management representative of an international school.

May 17, 2010

State fails to control private school fees

Hyderabad, May 15: In the absence of any government regulation, private schools have hiked their fees by 50 per cent to 100 per cent ahead of the new academic year. Caught between the poor standards in government schools and the high fees in private schools, parents from the lower-income and middle-income groups are worried.

The Tamil Nadu government came out with a regulated fee structure for over 10,000 private schools last week. The Andhra Pradesh government, however, is still mired in “legal issues” and with the admission season in full swing ahead of the new academic year in June, parents are wondering just how to cope with the additional financial burden.

The tuition fee apart, schools demand “donations” in order to admit students. The amount ranges from Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000 for nursery admission.

At first it was major cities such as Vijayawada, Guntur, Visakhapatnam, Nellore, Hyderabad and Tirupati that saw private schools increase their fees, but now schools in districts such as Nizamabad, Warangal and Prakasam too are collecting a donation of Rs 5,000 for nursery admission and a monthly tuition fee ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 1,000.

The transportation fee has also gone up. Schools in Hyderabad charge Rs 6,000 per annum for transport. Considering that schools work only for ten months in a year, parents will have to shell out Rs 600 per month for transport alone. Schools in Warangal, Nizamabad, Karimnagar and Krishna have decided to charge Rs 400 per annum.

After silently putting up with successive fee hikes, parents and students last year took to the streets and demanded a rollback in the fees. They formed parents' associations in schools and strongly resisted the fee hike.

The government was forced to constitute a committee under pressure from the parents. The five-member committee comprising then Hyderabad collector, Mr Navin Mittal, and commissioner of Intermediate education, Mr Lav Agarwal, submitted a report to the government making certain recommendations on fee regulation. But, the recommendations created a furore.

The committee had recommended a uniform upper cap of Rs 24,000 per annum for students of primary classes and Rs 30,000 for high school students across the state. Parents described these “mindless recommendations” as a majority of schools in the state were actually charging less than the amount prescribed by the committee.

The recommendations were prompting schools to further hike the fee, they said. The government then decided not to fix a uniform fee structure for all schools and said that it will apply only to major schools which charge huge fees. But that too did not happen as the schools approached the High Court and secured a stay on the government order.

“There are about seven to eight petitions filed in the High Court against the government order. We have to examine all of them and submit the government’s argument urging the court to vacate the stay order. It will take some time. We have already asked the advocate-general to initiate the process to ensure that we will come out with a clear policy on fee regulation on the lines of the Tamil Nadu government,” said minister for secondary education, Mr D. Manikya Vara Prasada Rao.

May 13, 2010

Supreme Court rejects challenge to school fee law

CHENNAI: Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed appeals against the Madras high court judgment upholding the Tamil Nadu Schools (Regulation of Collection of Fee) Act, 2009.

The SC’s order came as a disappointment to unaided schools, which had counted on the appeal to oppose the proposed fee structure announced by a state-appointed committee formed under the Act. The judgment’s impact on the fee panel’s recommendations are yet to be clarified, but the ruling empowers the state to regulate fees and check profiteering.

School education minister Thangam Thennarasu informed the assembly about the "sweet news" that the legislation had been upheld and that special leave petitions by private schools had been dismissed. "The court has commended the state’s law and said it was valid," Thennarasu said.

HSPA Coments :
- A good example to those who always felt money power is ultimate for a legitimate win in a noble cause
- In AP where to we go from here ?
- Is TN different from other states in such a key decision or will the rest of the state govermnets open up their eyes now ?

May 9, 2010

Private school fee's fixed by TN Government

CHENNAI: The State government has fixed fees for 10,934 private self-financing schools across Tamil Nadu.

The Private Schools Fee Determination Committee, a statutory panel appointed by the Government, finalised the fee structure after conducting a detailed study of the various issues.

The committee took into consideration the average fees collected from each student, the total number of students and the expenditure incurred by the school, including the salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff and other expenses, such as electricity and telephone charges.

The fees fixed for each individual school will be intimated through the concerned Chief Educational Officer. Details of the fee structure will be posted on the website ( of the Education Department for the benefit of parents and schools.

K.Govindarajan, Committee Chairperson, addressing newspersons here on Friday, said a format was designed with regard to the fixation of fees and it was forwarded to all the 10,934 schools, of which 10,233 responded.

The fee structure for 10,233 schools was fixed on the basis of income and expenditure of the schools. If the income, collected as fees from students, were more than the expenditure, the schools were asked to reduce them. In schools where the income was less than the expenditure, they were allowed to collect the existing fees. Schools that were not collecting any fees would not be allowed to collect fees. For the 701 schools which had not responded to the format, the committee has fixed fees similar to that of schools in the adjoining areas.

The committee on an average fixed Rs. 11,000 for higher secondary schools, Rs. 9,000 for high schools, Rs. 8,000 for middle schools and Rs. 5,000 for elementary schools in the city. There were higher secondary schools in the city which were collecting around Rs. 35,000 per student. However, in the case of elementary schools in the city, a majority of them were collecting around Rs. 2,000 per student. Shockingly, a residential school in Kadayanallur in Tirunelveli district was collecting Rs. 1.25 lakh per student for elementary classes. As the school showed an expense of Rs. 3,000 per student, the committee fixed the same as the fees. The committee allowed the existing fee structure for schools that were collecting reasonable fees.

Mr.Govindarajan said fees in schools in urban areas were less compared to those in semi-urban areas. Perhaps this might be due to lesser number of students in the latter. The chairperson said the fees fixed by the committee would be in force for three years and no school would be allowed to enhance or revise the fees for the next three years without prior permission of the committee. For the development of schools a 10 per cent increase in expenses would be allowed.

If the committee received any complaint from students or parents that a particular school had been collecting more than the prescribed fee it would make an enquiry. It would recommend penal action against the school if the complaint against it was found to be true.

HSPA Coments
- Kudos to the Madras High Court, Government of TamilNadu, Parents, School Managements & Teachers for showing the way forward for the world (India to be more specific)
- Hoepfully the rest of the country would, atleast follow this in near future