Saturday, July 31, 2010

Exorbitant Fee Charges: Hurdle for an Ambitious Nation!

Knowledge = PowerShared

According to an old saying “Knowledge shared is knowledge multiplied”. Though the above equation is certainly not a mathematical derivation in any sense, it does capture our understanding of knowledge sharing.  Especially in case of teachers who as per Indian tradition are acknowledged as descendants of God on earth and on whom we all rely for a bright future ahead.

However, with time – even education is not far from commercialization. Tamil Nadu government has taken a stern step towards regulating these activities by passing a circular wherein it has ordered a new fee structure for both private and unaided schools. The new school fee regulated as of now states Rs 11,000 for higher secondary schools, Rs 9,000 for high school, Rs 8,000 for middle school and Rs 5,000 for Elementary school.

The new school fee slab has been devised only after keeping in view certain parameters like infrastructure, faculty strength and other factors. The committee has proposed 10% additional expenditure charge for future development in schools.

Even though this regulation has evoked negative response from some schools – but it has been appreciated largely as it cuts on the oversize amounts being charged from parents in the name of donation. Also, it works in favour of the teachers as the recent findings have revealed that even though the school is charging sky rocketing fees, teachers are getting less paid.

The Solicitor General, Mr. Gopal Subramaniam states that the law in no way has infringed on the autonomy of the schools. In fact, each school was given a questionnaire and was asked to forward its respective fee structure with details and accordingly the fee was fixed by the committee. The sole objective behind all this was to prevent any profiteering or collection of capitation fee. Out of 10,934 schools, a total of 10,233 schools submitted proposals to the committee and it fixed the same amount of fees for 5,628 schools as per the request.

While a lot of schools have already raised objections to the newly implemented fee structure law, a team of auditors have been appointed to verify the calculations as submitted by the schools as part of their appeal. Meanwhile, there is no such fixed dates from which the enforced fee structure is supposed to be implemented as the schools are yet to receive the letters.

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