Karnataka: Schools can’t hike fee more than 15 per cent

Bengaluru: The government has finally issued the official notification of the Karnataka Educational Institutions Rules, which include the amendments related to fees collected by private institutions. These rules will come into effect from this academic year. 

The rules specify that no school, irrespective of the board it is affiliated to, can increase the annual fee by more than 15% and a set formula should be used to fix the amount. Also, schools can charge a maximum of Rs 2,500 as maintenance fee per year, though the managements had asked for double the amount after the draft notification was made public earlier. Schools will be restricted from taking the maintenance fee from applicants at the time of admission.

D. Shashikumar, general secretary, Karnataka Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools (KAMS), said that the move will ensure an end to some private schools charging exorbitant fees bringing a bad name to the entire private management fraternity. “We appreciate the state government’s move to implement fee regulations, enabling all schools across boards to honestly publish fee structure in public domain bringing transparency to the entire process,” he said.

Priya Nirmal, a techie and a parent of two children studying in a city school, said that the notification is a relief to her as fee hikes over the years were going out of control. “It is good that the state government has finally decided to bell the cat, holding each management accountable for what they charge from parents,” she said.

A.B Suresh of the Karnataka School Parents' Association pointed out that the rules could be used by schools in an adverse manner. “With the government now permitting a 15% hike annually, schools that were charging only 5-10 per cent hike will think of widening their horizon to charge even more. Ideally, financial tracking of private management-run schools over the last eight years should be done and the education department should approve a fee structure for each school before publishing it in public domain, making the transparency promised more meaningful,” he said. 

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