'Schools must divulge all fee details to parents at admission time'
The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has asked schools to make the admission process more transparent and declare all charges at the time of admission itself. In an exclusive interview with Millennium Post, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar has said that schools have been directed to enter into an agreement with parents at the time of admission so that everything would be crystal clear to them.
According to the minister, the parents would now be told about charges of school trips, summer camps, extra-curricular activities, percentage of fees that would be increased every year at the time of admission only. In reply to a question on what initiatives have been taken by the HRD Ministry to curb private schools from increasing exploitative fees, Javadekar replied, "It's not about controlling their authority. Private schools are also part of our education system as they too are contributing to improving the education system of the country. The government is spending Rs 2,000 per month for one child for their education and if a similar amount is charged by private schools, there is nothing wrong in it as it's the actual cost."
Adding further, the minister said, "What amount of fee is being charged is the important issue as there should be no hidden costs. Theparents should know what amount they have to pay and for what. It's not that after taking admission, the schools start asking to pay for extra activities. The ministry recommends total transparency so that there should be a disclosure of fee structure for the entire year."
"The schools have been asked to share the fees pattern with parents at the time of admission. A parent must be told by the schools that what amount they would have to pay till Class XII if a student gets admitted to Class V. There should be an agreement between parents and schools," the minister said.
"There are schools of different fee structures ranging from Rs 2,000 per month to Rs 10,000. When everything would be declared in a transparent manner, then it would be the parents' prerogative to select a school of their own choice for their children," the minister said.
Clearing his stand on book publishing rights to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), the minister said, "The CBSE would not publish any books as its mandate is to regulate the quality of education and other affairs of schools, including syllabus. The books would now be published by National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and NCERT books would be used in all CBSE-affiliated schools. We have also asked state governments to introduce NCERT books in the schools affiliated to state boards."