Schools send out fee hike circular

For 2021-22, schools have asked for a ‘modest fee hike’ between Rs 2000, and Rs 12,000

In a normal time, this would have been the month when schools would be preparing for a new academic year and parents would have got a letter about a fee hike. But these are not normal times and classes, when they begin for the new academic year, will most likely be online. So many parents are wondering why some schools have sent a fee-hike missive?

A note sent by a school says that parents should gear up for a ‘modest fee hike’ from Rs 2,000 to Rs 12,000 and the first instalment should be paid at the earliest.

A parent said he received this circular from a school: “The classes will begin from May 3, 2021 and the tuition fee has been increased by Rs 2,000. Please clear the first instalment of tuition fees for the academic year 2021-22 before the classes commence.” This new rule has irked parents who say that instead of decreasing the fees, schools are resorting to fee hike. “Though the State Government announced that the fee structure should be reduced by 30 per cent for the academic year of 2020-21, most schools refused to decrease the fees saying the matter is sub-judice. Now, we are seeing a fee hike. It may be a small hike but with no clarity on whether the classes will be online or offline, this hike is unjustified. If the classes are conducted online, then many components should not be considered.”

Another parent said, “Ear­lier, the schools were issuing circulars stating that parents should pay Rs 5,000 in advance if they wanted to send wards for offline classes. However, with Covid

cases reaching a new peak, offline classes seem to be a distant possibility for the next few months. Hence, I can’t understand the hike.”

But the school managements have a different reason behind the fee hike. “Firstly, it is a small hike which every parent can afford. Secondly, we have not hiked fees for the last few years and this hike is due to increased costs and inflation. Thirdly, during the last year, many parents have not paid fees and this has put a burden on us. We need to pay our staff too. This is a small hike and many parents have agreed to pay it,” said a school principal on conditions of anonymity.

It may be recalled that Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar had recently said that the next academic year was set to begin from July 15. However, schools wanted to start in May. A school principal said, “We had lost most of the classes in the last academic year due to the covid pandemic. The classes were also conducted for only a few hours and that too on alternative days. As online classes cannot be an absolute substitute for offline classes, many students have not been able to grasp them properly. Now, we are planning to go for extensive bridge courses and hence we need more time. This is the reason why we are starting classes in May.”

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Sagar Biswas

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