Published: 18th June 2018
Parents to pay one lakh for admissions in Class 1! Does CBSE need fee regulations?
An admission into Standard IV for her daughter cost nearly Rs 70,000 for Shobana and it took her a protest and a complaint to the Central Board of Secondary Education for the fees to be reduced
An admission into Standard IV for her daughter cost nearly Rs 70,000 for A Shobana. It took her a protest and a complaint to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) for the fees to be reduced from Rs 80,000. She is among thousands of parents who are forced to pay exorbitant fees to ensure that their wards get educated in a CBSE school.
Such a high sum assumes significance given that students from CBSE schools have prolonged exposure to NCERT syllabus, based on which national competitive exams such as NEET are based on. Given that NEET is a singular portal into pursuing medicine, moving students to CBSE schools to equip them better, turns out to be a costly affair for parents. So costly that students now going to government schools may never be able to make the switch.
Apart from tuition and admission fees, the school had asked Shobana to pay Rs 30,000 as development fees. “Until last year, we were asked to pay a ‘special fees’ of Rs 7,500, a maintenance fees of Rs 7,500 and a conveyance fees of Rs 3,000. In addition to this, we had to pay extra for uniform, shoes, books and notebooks,” he claimed. This year, she was surprised to see this split up missing in the notification. Instead, there was an over-arching ‘development fees.’ “When I inquired, the school management said that the fees included books, uniforms, and shoes. This meant that I was forced to buy these within the school, at a higher price,” she said. Her daughter doesn’t study in a popular school.
The annual fees of a popular CBSE school at Mylapore was increased by about Rs 25,000 last year. “When we asked about it, the management said the fees was increased to accommodate students who were admitted under the Right to Education Act,” a parent said.
Fees in leading schools across the city even goes over a lakh. An additional fees ranging from
Rs 30,000 to Rs 65,000 is charged for new admissions, which means students switching to CBSE will have to pay a higher price than those already following the syllabus.
All schools that follow State board syllabus come under the purview of Tamil Nadu Fee Regulation Committee. Schools will have to propose a fee stating various expenditure incurred by them. The committee will then, assess and fix a cap beyond which the schools cannot charge students. CBSE schools, however, do not come under the purview of the committee. “The schools will have to display the fees on the notice board before the term begins and should not charge above the displayed amount. If they do, then the committee can question them,” said a School Education department official.
‘No regulation by CBSE’
CBSE does not govern the fees that schools charge, according to an official from their regional office. “The schools will themselves gauge how much fees must be charged and we won’t interfere unless there is a mishap that is brought to our notice,” the official said.