BANGALORE: The state government is all set to regulate fees in private schools. If its proposal is approved, from the next academic year, private unaided schools affiliated to the government and boards like CBSE or ICSE cannot fix fee structures as per their wish.
The Department of Public Instruction has posted the draft of the fee structure on its website and has invited objections from schools within 30 days. According to the draft, the annual fee for primary education is `6,800 per child, while it is `6,400 and `13,130 for higher primary and high school students respectively.
Following the Karnataka High Court’s directive in February, the Commissioner for Public Instruction had appointed a committee to prepare the draft. The committee and sub-committee finalised the fee and submitted it to the department recently.
While preparing the draft, the committees have considered and covered all the areas. Though schools have been allowed to collect a development fee, there are several norms governing it. The fee structure has been classified based on the area where the school is located.
For example, schools that come under city corporations/municipal corporations have different fee structures compared to schools in district and taluk headquarters. A separate fee structure has been fixed for rural schools. A senior official from the department told Express, “Every year, we receive complaints from parents about schools hiking fees. We hope the proposal will put an end to the problem since it is as per the High Court’s direction.”
“While fixing the fee, we considered the salaries of teachers and Group D employees,” said the official. The fee can be revised once in three years by the setting up of a similar committee.
K Ananda, Director of Primary Education, said, “All the schools established in the state will come under the draft. They can file objections if any.”
However, school associations have opposed the move. D Shashikumar, organising secretary of the Karnataka Private Schools’ Joint Action Committee, said, “The government has no authority to fix the fee as per the Supreme Court judgment. Moreover, the committee has not included representatives from the schools. We will not accept it.”