Many parents have welcomed the High Court's ruling, particularly the portion ordering a uniform fee structure in schools.

Some parents felt that the Government must fix an upper limit as well as a lower limit depending on the infrastructure as well as other facilities provided at different schools.

However, a few also feel that if the order is implemented, it could become a deterrent to competent people who want to establish quality educational institutions.

Lucrative business

“This order should be implemented immediately,” says Vinod Kumar R., father of a schoolchild. “I'm not against schools collecting fees to sustain themselves and making some profits. However, they must not collect exorbitant fees and make it a lucrative business.”

Shield from exploitation

A.R. Ashok Kumar Adiga says that the High Court's order will protect hapless parents and students from exploitation. The cost of educating a child for a school is approximately between Rs. 550 to Rs. 715 per month. “Even if they add 30 percent margin as profit, the monthly fee must not exceed Rs. 900,” he says.

He is of the firm opinion that each school must have a parents' association to negotiate with managements on such issues. Mr. Adiga will also launch Bangalore Schools Parents Association soon.

However, Ravishankar B.K. has a different take on the issue. He feels that fixing fee should not be the priority of the Government.

“Fixing fee of a private school is not socialism. No one will come forward to start new schools. When you talk of globalisation, you must focus on providing quality education. When the prices of vegetables are not on parity, why introduce uniform fee structure in schools?”

Dinesh Kumar Boswan, a businessman, says he sends his son to an elite school because it has good infrastructure and is well-known for its academic excellence. Besides, the school authorities have assured individual attention.

“You can take risk in your business, but not with your child's education. I have only one child and I want him to study in one of the best schools. So I don't mind if the fee structure is on the higher side.”

‘Historic ruling'

Meanwhile, the Karnataka State School Development and Monitoring Committee's Coordination Forum (SDMCCF-K) has welcomed the High Court ruling.

The forum termed it historic, paving the way to establish a system of education based on social justice and equity in accordance with the core values embedded in the Constitution, according to a statement from forum's chief mentor Niranjanaradhya .

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