Private school managements slam 30% slash in tuition fees; mull legal action

Schools in Bengaluru, who claim to be facing a fund crunch, are against the new state government order slashing the tuition fees by 30%. However, the education minister says the decision was arrived at in consultation with the concerned stakeholders

More than 20-30% of the parents have still not paid their fees and schools are struggling to pay their teachers

Private school managements in Bengaluru are up in arms against the Karnataka government’s order on Friday to all schools, to slash 30% of their tuition fees for the academic year 2020-21. A few associations are also strongly contemplating knocking at the doors of the judiciary for a solution to their problems.

Firstly, the school managements find the 30% cutback in the fees steep. It works out to be more than half the annual fee of Rs 25,000 charged by the schools, said Shashi Kumar, President of the Associated Management of Primary and Secondary School (KAMS), as reported by News18.com.

The school managements were unable to fathom on what basis the government had arrived at the 30% figure, he added.

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Also read: In Karnataka’s hinterlands, schools go to students’ doorsteps

Secondly, most private schools are going through a fund crunch since admissions to LKG, UKG or first standard have not yet taken place. Also, according to the President of the CBSE Schools Association, M Srinivasan, more than 20-30% of parents have still not paid their fees, which has led to a revenue loss of 25-30% for schools.

Schools have not saved money on anything other than transportation and that too has been refunded to the parents, he added. In such a situation, they were hard-pressed to pay their teachers and were exploring the possibility of approaching the courts.

However, this order may not be enforceable in the first place “due to an ongoing litigation at the Karnataka High Court”.  Revealing this, Srinivasan said that in the earlier court case, they had challenged the state government’s amendment which has brought non-state board schools under the Karnataka government’s ambit. The HC had reportedly ruled in an interim order that the state government cannot take any coercive action until the court settles the matter.

Also Read: As students contract COVID, Karnataka stops doorstep education programme

On Friday, it may be recalled that the Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, S Suresh Kumar told media persons that the 30% reduction was arrived, at after detailed consultation with all stakeholders, including parent associations and school managements.

“Developmental fees, festival fees, or uniform fees cannot be taken. Fees for excursions or use of swimming pool etc., cannot be charged. Private schools should look at parents sympathetically and parents should also realise that it is their teachers who are going without salaries, so this common minimum understanding should help in implementing this solution that we have derived at,” he had said.

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