Panel completes hearing institutions

In a fortnight, CBSE schools in the city will get to know how much fee they can charge this academic year. The Private Schools Fee Determination Committee has virtually completed hearing CBSE schools that had sought a fee revision and is expected to release the revised amounts in two weeks .

According to the head of a CBSE school, Justice S.R. Singharavelu, who chairs the committee, is said to be giving a patient hearing to schools that want their fees revised.

“We presented all our bills, and showed how much we spend on teachers' salaries and on direct costs such as electricity, telephone bills and transportation. I don't think we'll get to charge as much as we would like to, but all the same, I feel the committee's recommendation will not hurt us all that much,” said the school head, who went for the hearing recently.

The school, he said, was also questioned on its high spending on diesel. “The committee thought we were spending a lot on transport. Then, I had to explain that the diesel was for generators that we use during power cuts,” he said.

CBSE schools that were earlier wondering if they came under the purview of the committee have now been given a chance to represent their cases, according to sources. “The idea is to ensure that all schools, irrespective of the board, charge fees commensurate to the facilities offered. The CBSE's guidelines also emphasise this rule,” said a senior official in the School Education Department. The regulation also becomes important in the context of some city schools charging up to Rs. 40,000 for the first term in PRE-KG.

Parents, however, feel that unless there is a monitoring agency schools may not follow the recommendations. “The School Education Department should ensure schools follow the committee's direction. We cannot be protesting every time,” said a parent of a matriculation school student, on condition of anonymity.

The issue of private schools charging high fee amounts has resurfaced with school reopening. In regard to matriculation schools, there has already been a series of protests by parents, including on DPI complex on Monday. It all began in 2010, with the committee, then headed by Justice K. Govindarajan, prescribing school fees for nearly 11,000 private schools in Tamil Nadu.

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