As fees of private schools skyrocket, parents say if govt schools were in better shape, quality education could have been more affordable Also due to this, many parents want better facilities and development in government schools. One such parent informed that the fee for a few private schools in Bengaluru has increased by as much as Rs 60,000 in the past two years without any prior notice to the parents. “Before the lockdowns started, the fee for my child’s school was somewhere around Rs. 80,000. Now we are paying close to Rs 1, 40, 000 in the same school two years later. That is a 75 percent hike in the school fee in just two years. We were given no prior warning about it either,” said Ravindra, speaking about a private school. The parents feel that if the state had enough government schools with good facilities, quality education in the state will become much more affordable. “The fee in the private schools is beyond affordability now. By having enough government schools, or even by renovating the existing ones, some of this burden can be taken off the parents’ shoulders, he further added. Parents also added that the financial situation in many households is already unstable due to the businesses and salaries being affected by the pandemic. On top of that, education has become a huge burden for parents. A recent online survey by the Economic Times recently found that the overall expenditure of schooling a child in India in a private school from age 3 to age 17 is Rs 30 lakh. In government schools, on the other hand, the average annual cost is around Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 per annum. However, even due to the huge difference in the fee, parents still prefer private schools due to the poor infrastructure and facilities in government schools. “The government schools, or even the budget private schools, lack proper infrastructure and do not have experienced staff. That is why parents are reluctant to send their children to such schools. If instead of putting so much money in elite private schools, we can help these other schools improve in quality, the cost of education will decrease significantly,” said Shwetha R, another parent and a resident of Chamundinagar. Government should seriously think about a better alternative to such corporate schools. Education should not become a profitable business,” another parent shared. Parents had also complained about the steep prices of stationery items and school uniforms in private schools. Many schools have made it compulsory for students to get these things from campus only, despite it being against the rules.
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