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Out-of-box analysis

I appreciate your out-of-box analysis of the issue of fees regulation of private schools (EW July). 

You made it abundantly clear that the government has no role to play in fixing fees of private independent schools, and that middle class parents are inviting trouble by asking for government intervention. Parents need to understand that quality education comes at a price. It’s blatantly unfair of them to ask for a fees subsidy from entrepreneurs who have invested their savings to promote education institutions. School managements and parents should work together to resolve fee disputes.

Government should focus on improving the quality of its own schools rather than interfere with private education. It’s the duty of the government — to whom we pay numerous taxes — and not the private sector, to provide high-quality free/subsidised education to children. 

Manish Shah


Rising costs burden

Your cover story ‘Fees regulation fever endangering India’s private schools’ (EW July) is timely. I believe the government is partly responsible for spiralling tuition fees in private schools. With rising inflation, it’s inevitable that the cost of running schools is escalating. In particular, the manifold increase in teachers’ salaries subsequent to the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission award (with arrears), is a big burden on schools. How can schools fund this payout without raising fees? 

Many educational institutions have shut down for want of adequate finances. The government should help private schools by exempting them from property tax and other similar levies. Savings from these levies can be used to upgrade infrastructure facilities for children. 

Mahesh Kapasi
New Delhi


Jewel in the crown

The recently posted YouTube video titled ‘Plea for education reform’ by Dilip Thakore brings out the “truth” about India’s education system without fear or favour. I’ve been closely following EducationWorld over the past decade. Since its inception, the magazine has been bravely exposing the weaknesses of the Indian education system. At the same time EW has never failed to appreciate best practices in the education sector through its preschool to higher education awards.

EW is a pioneer in the field of education journalism and for education leaders like me it’s a shining jewel in the crown. Well done! 

Dr. D.P.N. Prasad 


Irrational regulation

Thanks for recognising and acknowledging the efforts of private higher education institutions at your recent EW India Private Higher Education Rankings Awards 2017-18 (EW July). 

In a mixed economy like India’s, allowing private education providers implies acceptance of a market for education. This market operates under certain ethics and principles viz, determination of prices/fees by a supply-demand calculus (no state regulation); freedom of enterprise; promotion of competitiveness, excellence, quality and standards, and self-regulation by the sector. The Central and state governments are throwing all these principles to the wind by over-regulating the education sector. 

It’s unfortunate that the irrational State is intent upon destroying private education and setting the clock back by 200 years through reckless interference. I pray that wisdom will dawn.

Dr. A.S. Seetharamu


Favourably presented but...

Thank you for the recent EducationWorld cover story on the International Baccalaureate (IB) and interviews with key IB people. There is much to be positive about in the way the IB is favourably presented in the piece.

Having said that, we are sorry to read that you found the IB “surprisingly bureaucratic” and our hospitality “austere”. I must respectfully point out that as a not-for profit, we have a duty to be careful custodians both of our budgets and time — which we primarily put at the service of our schools.

Separately, there are errors of fact, reference and terminology in the story. We trust they can be corrected in the online version and — perhaps — in a follow-on piece in the printed publication. 

Freddie Oomkens
Global Communications & Branding, IB Global Centre, 
The Hague

As a business and education journalist I’ve visited with over 1,000 companies and institutions. Never have I experienced such grudging hospitality — Editor

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