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Karnataka government regulates school fees


Deepa Balakrishnan,CNN-IBN
Feb 06, 2012 at 08:20am IST

Bangalore: As school admission fees are becoming a burden on the parents, the Karnataka government has fixed a 30 per cent profit margin for private schools. This after parents protested against the alarming rise in the admission costs.

The ever rising cost of a school education is a biting reality for parents and Ashok Kumar Adiga President of the Parents' Association last year decided to fight against it.

"What is the profit that schools are making; it's more than 100 per cent. They say building fees, they say computer education, even bags are sold in schools for Rs 500-600, shoes are sold for Rs 1,400," Kumar said.

Kumar's efforts led to the circular from the Karnataka education department and the circular says tuition fees should not exceed a profit of 30 per cent and schools cannot charge any non-tuition fees up to class five. Schools are upset with the diktat.

Karnataka Unaided School' Association President GS Sharma said, “Education means not mere reading and writing, you have to provide libraries, AV, sports, laboratory and other facilities, innumerable requirements.”

But the government is firm and says that it is high time schools are brought in line.

Commissioner for Public Instruction Tushar Girinath said, “We have considered reasonably well what should be the fee structure. We are also seeking legal side and what we're saying, in any case, follow transparency.”

This government order was actually issued after parents gave a representation that they're being forced to buy books and uniforms at huge rates from schools - some schools charged as much as Rs 3,500 for one set of uniform - higher than what you'd pay perhaps for branded shirts.

But with schools set to move court next week, the issue is headed for a tough legal battle.

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