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Karnataka: Private schools associations condemn unreasonable school fee hikes

April 7, 2023

April 6. Private schools’ associations across Karnataka have asked the department of school education and literacy and the parents’ community to name and shame private schools which have hiked their annual fee by over 15 %.

This comes in the wake of reports about private unaided schools hiking their fee from 20% to 50% for the upcoming 2023-24 academic year. Several such incidents have been reported in schools.

Addressing a press briefing on Thursday in Bengaluru, some school associations condemned the irrational hike in fees and said that evidence-based complaints against such schools must be sent to the department or to one of the school managements’ associations.

“We will dissociate with anyone who will hike the annual fee beyond the agreed upon 10% to 15%. This figure might be reasonable for budget schools who charge around Rs 20,000 fee. Schools collecting fees in lakhs must rethink the percentage because the amount will be higher. While we are aware that there is inflation, schools must refrain from citing that as a reason for an unreasonable hike. We noticed this year that textbooks got dearer by 25%, the government has increased the examination fee etc. Unfortunately, these are passed on to parents. Even the maintenance cost for private schools increases by the year. But none of this justifies a hike beyond 10-15%,” said D. Shashi Kumar, general secretary of KAMS (Associated Managements of Private Schools in Karnataka).

Kumar urged parents to send emails to KAMS and assured that anonymity will be maintained when raising this issue with the education department.

Meanwhile, Dr M Srinivasan, founder of Gear International School and the President of Managements of Independent CBSE Schools Association said that the norm must be applicable for schools across board. “Except for new admissions, no school must take an exception to hike fees beyond 10-15%. This must be applicable for IB schools as well,” he said.

The associations also agreed that while providing details of the fee structure on website or as circulars must be a common practice, there were challenges with the department’s formula of breakup of fee as a one size fits all approach might not be feasible.

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