School fees hike in Bangalore for 2009-10

Schools are in the process of deciding the fees hike for 2009-10.    Maybe they have already decided.  Typically it is in the range of 5-10% per annum.  Some schools may be going in for a much larger hike – market value – as they would call it.

School fees – inclusive of tution fees, books, uniforms, transportation, and other ad-hoc expenses throughout the year – for one child may range from Rs. 40000/- to 80000/- in many of Bangalore’s elite, but not “International” schools.

I can understand the hikes in the context of an inflationary economy.  Another context could be competetiveness – you want to pay more to retain/attract teachers.  Given my understanding of the benefit of economies of scale, I would find it difficult to accept (not that the school would care for my opinion) that increases are required to manage growing costs due to a larger student population.

Many of us may find ourselves with zero salary hikes in 2009, if not salary cuts.  That is not bad by itself, if it provides job security. I am not sure whether this is the case across all industries/jobs in Bangalore.

Anecdote: I heard of a case where a parent asked a school principal whether they could cap the fees hike for 2009-10.  The principal called a sub-ordinate and asked him to issue a Transfer Certificate for their ward.  Arrogance?  Apathy? Any other adjective for such a behaviour?  I sincerely hope that this incident did not take place.

So:

1. What %age of our income should be spent on your child’s eductation?  5%, 10%, what?

2. What should one do if they lose their job?  School fees are an expense too, but is it the last one that one must look to curtail?

3. Should the State Govt. Education Dept. step in and issue dictats on the %age hikes that schools can charge in 2009-10?

4. Are schools justified with a behaviour – if you cant afford to pay, just take your kid out of school.

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One response to “School fees hike in Bangalore for 2009-10

  1. You are right. There’s an extensive hike in school fees in Bangalore recently ranging from 5-50%. Most of the schools have implemented the new fee structure for the next academic year and a few schools are in the process of reviewing the same. Recently a lot of companies in India are expected to bring down their wage costs by not providing any salary hikes to their employees. A few companies have also resorted to salary cuts. In this critical situation such a steep and massive hike in fees is difficult for parents to bear. Agreed, maintaining the infrastructure and the facilities they provide the students does cost a lot, and since fees is the only source of income for the schools, they have no choice but to raise them every year. But there are some schools that are supporting parents. My friend’s child studies in Inventure Academy which provides opportunities for children to learn and demonstrate their learning in multiple ways. This school normally increases its fees by 10% every year but this year they have decided not to hike the school fees in the recognition that these are challenging times. They are able to do this due to their effective Financial planning and execution which has to be appreciated. I feel that all schools should follow the example of Inventure Academy to ensure progressive and affordable education in our country.

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