Parents successfully clearing the rigorous nursery school admission process of their wards in Delhi find themselves staring at one last but big hurdle — fees that even top the annual Rs. 50,000 charged for admission by IITs.
With thousands of parents fighting over a few hundred seats in a limited number of good schools, the private institutions call the shots during the admission season.
The current fee structure in the IITs is around Rs. 50,000 per annum. Besides, students pay about Rs. 20,000 annually for other purposes like accommodation, alumni and admission fees.
But when it comes to reputed nursery schools in Delhi and NCR, the figure increases significantly and quotes anywhere around or above Rs. 75,000 a year, which parents have to shell out even after undergoing a rigorous interview and evaluation process.
Rs. 1.7 lakhs-plus per year
For instance, a school in Gurgaon charges Rs. 75,000 as admission fees, while the composite annual fee is Rs. 1,70,000 for 2009-10 school term. Besides, there are extra charges such as Rs. 38,000 to Rs. 44,000 as annual transport fees, Rs. 6,000 to Rs. 9,500 as IT fees every year.
A Noida school charges a one-time admission fee of Rs. 61,000 plus Rs. 26,000 per quarter. Similar is the case with another school in the satellite city which asks Rs. 45,000 as admission fees with an additional quarterly fees of Rs. 11,000.
Delhi Education Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely said he was aware of violations, but his department could only act against a school if it receives complaints from parents.
“If they show us a receipt, we can act on it. Most parents don’t come forward,” Mr. Lovely said.
According to Sumit Vohra, who runs admissionsnursery.com, a website exclusively for parents, the average annual fee for nursery in Delhi and NCR is around Rs. 75,000.
“There is no second thought that the fees are more than what students pay in IITs. Private schools give reasons such as high-class education, comfort and care given to kids. And the Directorate of Education, the highest authority for school education in Delhi, is almost silent in its guidelines about fee structures of schools,” Mr. Vohra said.
While the admission fees add salt to the injuries of parents who had to under go a rigorous evaluation system to get their ward’s admission in good schools, school authorities defend their fee structure saying this is proportionate to the service and education they render.
“High class education”
“We are an eight-hour school having a state-of-art infrastructure and a huge teaching staff. We provide high class education and care to each student, and the amount we ask for that is no way disproportionate,” said Rekha Bakshi, principal of Vasant Valley School.
“If you want better education and service, you need to pay more. The fee is very much reasonable compared to the costs incurred by the school for the child,” said an official at Step By Step School in Noida.
Parents have also accused schools of not giving proper receipts for the amount they deposit.
“A school in Noida asked for Rs. 45,700 as admission fee and Rs. 11,000 as quarterly fees including transport. But they gave receipt for only Rs. 700,” claimed a parent on the website.
“Most of the schools have the same policy and they don’t issue receipt for the total amount they charge for a nursery seat,” said another parent on the site.
“Parents are made to suffer at the hands of the school managements. Despite DoE regulations, there is chaos and uncertainty,” said Vijender Gupta, president of the Delhi Abhibhavak Mahasangh.
Unrecognised schools add to chaos
Another reason for this chaos, experts say, is the number of unrecognised schools that don’t follow DoE guideline. “There are about 1,000 unrecognised schools across Delhi and DoE can’t take any action against them as they don’t fall under the purview the Delhi Education Act, 1973,” Vohra added.