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As the new academic session begins, the fear of paying hefty school fees looms over the mind of every parent.
Education is the basic right of every child, Education moulds a child’s development and prepares him to build his future. Education is a basic need for the core development of a country, but with the rising fee structure and cut-throat competitive scenario all around, how much is too much? How far can we bear the burden of unregulated fee structure that can really make financial planning of parents go all haywire?
I completed my post-graduation in Management in 2008 paying an overall amount of INR 1,75,000 and recently I also paid INR 1,25,000 as annual school fee for Grade 1 for my five-year old daughter. No doubt, it is a CBSE school with all the facilities, but when the new fee structure circular came in, I somehow felt that it was too steep.
It was a matter of concern for many parents, we discussed it and went to the school asking for the reason for such a hike in fee. The reasons given to us were:
Apart from the first reason, I feel we have studied in a much better environment in yesteryears when education was a serious business and not a money-making hub. Today the emphasis is more about each school trying to outdo each other by adding more and more amenities.
In our times the best school was the school which used to win the maximum trophies in sports and academics but nowadays it’s about the amount of fees the school charges. Even as parents we have been programmed to think that the more the fees we are paying the more our child will learn. Education is the basic right of a child, but it has been commercialized to such an extent that both the parents and children are under immense pressure to perform.
The outlook of the society is such that if we send our child to a State Board school we are looked down upon as someone who can’t afford to give their children even a basic CBSE education. I am not saying that only bad has happened because of the commercialization of schools, no doubt some good things have also happened like kids are given individual attention, they are provided the best of amenities and luxuries but my point is we turned out to be fine even without all these things.
My husband was amused to see the discount scheme offered by the school. The offer was that if we pay the entire fees upfront, there would be a discount akin to the pricing policy that Corporates use to entice their customer to pay in advance.
Back in our days, either the school was Government sponsored or run by Christian Missionaries. In either of the cases, making money was not their objective. The teachers were more passionate about teaching and the methodology was simple but with the advancement in technology the teachers have become more professional and the methods more complicated.
I appreciate the change in the methodology of the educational system but we are still beating around the bush. I have always believed that kids should be made life ready. For this, they should be observed, analyzed and schools should be able to identify the talent in the child and should work upon making the child the best in what he or she is instead to just focusing on academics. Then if they charge lakhs of rupees a year as fees, I would be more than obliged to give as I know my child is getting something very valuable and priceless in return.
Although I have no option because the fee structure is almost the same everywhere. I somehow can’t get my mind over the fact that I am paying such a huge amount as fees to just ensure that my child studies in one of the best schools in the city. As a parent, I want to give my child the best in my capacity, like all the other parents… but the question crosses my mind every time “IS IT WORTH IT?” and till this day the answer has only been negative.
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