The Karnataka Unaided Schools Management’s Association (KUSMA) has urged the government not to interfere in the fee structure for private unaided schools. The association said the fee structure “imposed” by the government was impractical and hence the association members had been violating it.
The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) had issued a circular to fix the tuition fees for classes 1 to 8 based on this formula: total salary paid to teachers + 30 per cent of total salaries/total number of students. Besides tuition fees, schools can charge Rs. 38 as non-tuition fee for classes 6 to 8 and Rs. 185 for classes 9 to 10 and charge only Rs. 600 as special development fees.
However, following objections by private school managements, the DPI decided to constitute a committee to take a relook at the formula for private schools in the State. KUSMA, however, decided not to involve itself in the committee as it had vehemently opposed implementation of any rigid fee structure.
Association president V.R.N. Reddy told presspersons here on Friday that none of their 1,800 member-schools were following the fee structure. “KUSMA has made it clear to the government as well as the court that the member-schools have necessarily violated the rule,” he said.
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 mandates that schools notify the fees.
KUSMA legal counsel K.V. Dhananjay said only control the government could exert was to the extent of checking books of accounts to make sure there was no profiteering and misuse. “Parents can question the school based on the facilities provided to them. If they feel that the school is charging excess fees, parents can report to the Block Education Officer,” he said.
Flexible fee structure
Responding to that, Commissioner for Public Instruction Mohammad Mohsin said the department, according to the government’s order, was involving all stakeholders such as parents, school management and Education Department officials to fix a fee structure. “There is a need fix a flexible fee structure so that parents are not exploited by school managements,” he said.