Even as voices are being raised on the exorbitant fees that schools charge from their wards, a nationwide survey on the issue has concluded that the fee hike this year ranges between a steep 11 and 20 percent, leaving parents and guardians digging deep into their pockets.
As many as 15 percent of parents surveyed said their children’s schools have hiked the fees by over 20 percent, a survey by community social media platform LocalCircles asserted. The survey was done on around 9,000 parents and grandparents.
Fee Increase: A Pan-India Phenomenon
“The fee increase in many schools has been quite high this year and parents in different parts of the country have come on the roads to protest about it,” the survey said. “They have also been complaining about the hefty increase in the annual fee charges which schools are not able to justify,” it further added.
Fee Hike More Than Increase of Average Earnings of Parents
Parents across the country are very concerned as school fee in the last few years has been rising at a much faster rate than the average earnings of the parents, thereby creating a squeeze.
“15 percent respondents said that the increase was above 20 percent and 31 percent said that the increase was between 0 -10 percent,” the survey said.
Over 75 percent parents from Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Goa said that their child’s school has increased the fee by more than 10 percent.
Parents Resorting to Cutting Household Expenses
Around 50-75 percent parents from the states of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Delhi said that fee hike has been more than 10 percent.
LocalCircles said it interacted with heads of some schools that have capped their fee increase to less than 10 percent and found that they focused on optimising costs, negotiated with their vendor base and also looked at reducing wastage of resources.
“As a result, they were able to keep the fee increase to the permissible levels,” it said.
However, parents have been feeling the pinch of hike in school fee with many admitting to cutting discretionary and household expenses to be able to afford their child's school education, the survey said.
Meanwhile, CBSE has mandated disclosure of the fee by schools to the board, and on websites of schools.
However, as per the last notification from CBSE, only 14,000 out of the total 18,000 schools had complied with the order, LocalCircles said.