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Apr 12, 2009

Huge Fees hike in private schools !


The parents of the students of the SBOA Matriculation Higher Secondary School here have alleged that the fee hike announced for the ensuing academic year is exorbitant and sought Governmental intervention.

In a memorandum to the Inspector of Matriculation Schools, they said the institution was suffering from various infrastructural infirmities. They included lack of even basic amenities like drinking water and toilet. And every class had more than 60 students, much more than the permitted strength. The maintenance of the buildings left much to be desired and classes for children in the RS Puram campus were conducted under asbestos roofs.

“These problems could not be brought to the notice of the school management due to non-availability of the Parent Teachers’ Association”.The memorandum submitted that a huge amount of fees had been collected all these years under various heads – special fees, library fees, multimedia fund, annual day and sports day fees, PTA fees, building development fund – apart from the tuition fees and the donations taken towards building fund at the time of admission.

It contended that when so much was collected without providing even basic amenities, “there is no justification to enhance the fees again and that too to an extent of nearly 50 per cent”.At a meting with the management on March 26, the representatives of the parents were told that the maintenance work of the school building would be undertaken during the summer vacation.

While the PTA would be formed next academic year, the classes in the RS Puram premises would be shifted to the main campus in a phased manner.The management, however, stated that “due to the requirement to pay higher salary to the teaching and non-teaching staff, the proposed hike in the fees could not be reconsidered”.

The parents reiterated that when there was no evidence of the already collected fees having been put to use for the stated purposes, any further hike was uncalled for. “Until the accounts of the school are verified we cannot accept the merits in further increase”.

However, the school authorities were not ready to give details of the accounts of expenditure, the parents lamented.

Though the State Government had announced that it had not issued any order allowing the hike in fees by the private schools, and would take a decision on dealing with the issue legally after the elections, the date of the completion of the election process, and the last date for paying the fees clashed. Hence, the school should be advised to collect fees at the “pre-revised rates”.

Besides, unless early instructions are issued on this issue, students entering 10th and 12th standards would be put to a lot of mental strain, the parents pleaded.When contacted, the local authorities of the school said that they were not empowered to comment on the issue and only the top brass in Chennai could do so.

However, the authorities in Chennai could not be reached.

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