INR 500 fee hike irks Delhi private schools

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Parents could end up having to pay more than the Rs 500 hike in fees for private schools recommended by the Bansal Committee, which submitted its report to the Delhi government on Tuesday. The schools have unanimously said the proposed hike is too little and have threatened to move court if the recommendation is implemented. Many private schools are demanding that they be allowed to hike fees by 50% to meet the increase of 40%-50% in the salary of teachers as per the Sixth Pay Commission. The schools are also seeking the government's approval to charge INR 8,000 per student for arrears to teachers, which is far more than the limit of INR 4,500 set the committee which went into the issue.

'Putting a cap of Rs 500 on the fee hike has no rationale. Thankfully, it is only a recommendation as of now. But if the government ends up considering it, we may even move the court. We cannot implement the provisions of the Sixth Pay Commission unless we hike the school fees enough,' said S K Bhattacharya, president, School Action Committee (SAC) a body of all the school organizations in the capital. The seven-member Bansal Committee was constituted by the city government to recommend a suitable fee hike in private schools which would enable them to bring the salaries of their staff on a par with the Sixth Pay Commission bands. Bhattacharya said SAC had worked out the required fee hike to be 50% as the increase in teachers' salaries, with effect from September 1, 2008, might be to the tune of 70%. The hike in salary will also be applicable to the non-teaching staff in the school.

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