Increase in school fees forces parents onto the streets

Published: September 11, 2015
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The Generation School offers parents chance to withdraw students now or next year. PHOTO: FILE

The Generation School offers parents chance to withdraw students now or next year. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: A 25 per cent increase in tuition fee by The Generation School in North Nazimabad has forced parents to take to the streets and demand the administration take back its decision.

“How can a father like me who belongs to a middle-class family and has three children studying in private schools afford Rs38,000 as tuition fee for two months,” asked a man, whose son studies in class one. He complained the fee at this school goes up by nearly 25 per cent every year.

Private schools are only allowed to increase their tuition fee by five per cent every year but, over time, it was extended to 10 per cent, said All Private Schools Management Association’s Sindh chairperson Syed Khalid Shah. He told The Express Tribune that some schools hike up their fee by up to 35 per cent every year.

Generation is one of the best schools in North Nazimabad and every parent wants their children to get admission there, said another parent, Quratulain, whose two children are studying in pre-nursery and class two.

Can’t pay? Change schools

What irked the parents of The Generation School was not only the hike in fee but the way the school management reacted to their concerns. After a large number of parents complained that the new fees were unfair, the school issued a notification – a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune – explaining the rise in fee and introducing a ‘parent facilitation scheme’ to help them move their children to a different school.

“The notice actually meant that if you cannot pay, then change schools,” pointed out another protester.

If the parents accept this scheme, they can inform the front office through a written application after paying the current tuition bill by Friday, September 18. Parents have been given the option to either withdraw their children from the school now, or give in writing that they will be withdrawn by July 2016, in which case they will be allowed to pay the old fee.

The school fee should be regularised and someone should hold the schools accountable for charging such heft fees, complained a father of two. “They [schools] should be answerable to someone at least,” he said, adding that reputable private schools have been engaged in the same practice for a long time.

Some media reports had claimed that similar protests were held at Beaconhouse School System as well. However, a Beaconhouse representative said their annual fee increase was not too high and that their parents have not complained.

Meanwhile, Generation school may be facing action as the Sindh director of private school education, Mansoob Ahmed Siddiqui, has written a letter to the school principal and requested a meeting. Siddiqui said he wants to discuss the reasons behind the ‘illegal’ realisation of tuition fee from parents. The school management was unavailable for comments.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 11th, 2015.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Asim Ali
    Sep 11, 2015 - 9:38AM

    The private school system is unregulated and have filled in a vacuum created by inept governments of the past 30 years. Private education has become a business. A business built on amenity plots, is inflation proof and unaccountable. My suggestion is to write to the development authorities, cantonment boards, social media and what not to regulate this sector. This North Nazimabad school speaks volumes of discrimination, high handedness and cockiness. Recommend

  • Farrukh Hussain
    Sep 11, 2015 - 9:41AM

    There should some SOPs and regulatory bodies for monitoring the private educational Institutions. No private sector organization should be allowed to inpose their own agenda making the people disturbed and upset. Writ of the govt dept must be enforced at every organization and place.

    Best Regards,
    FarrukhRecommend

  • Rajpar
    Sep 11, 2015 - 9:45AM

    Thank you ET for highlighting this issue. Every private school in #Karachi is doing this with parents. Some people are shy to speak up on these issues. It bleeds them financially. Schools raise fees without justifications. It is hard to understand logic behind increase.
    Let me share one example of my 3 year old son, I got him enrolled in City School, fee was slightly over Rs 7000 and after three years he is in class one and fee is over Rs 14000 per month. What has happened in last three years to pay them 100% increase. People are not crying may be they are super rich, but for working class people, professionals having two three kids this is too much. It is clear that regulatory framework for schools does not exist. Provincial education department is inactive, inefficient and perhaps could be part this whole game.
    By logic of private schools one would assume these schools owners make rational decisions, I am sure their schools must be registered as trusts and non-profits but they behave like they are only profit seekers.
    This is really high time that parents, society and media wake up on this issue. Save working class they are the backbone of society, stop suffocating them. Life in Karachi, in many ways is not already so kind of middle class folks. Recommend

  • Zefresh
    Sep 11, 2015 - 10:46AM

    Government has imposed a 8% minimum tax on service sector which is truly unjustified. Most of the service sector companies has passed on this burden to their consumers. In my opinion, schools have also done this due to which the the raises are so high. Eventual victims are the consumers, in this case parents. Recommend

  • Well Wisher
    Sep 11, 2015 - 12:59PM

    If there expenditures are also increased many folds, why don’t they disclose their Annual Financial Statements to the parents for review, this is the only they can justify these fee hikes.Recommend

  • Nargis Bano
    Sep 12, 2015 - 10:36AM

    You wake up early in the morning and get your children ready for school. They dress up, you make breakfast and they grab their schools bags and head out…

    You rush to the car with your children and get in to reach school on time. You reach the school well before time, send your children in and then stand in front of the same school your child is in and protest against it, holding banners, placards and what not.

    Strange how you don’t seem confused or think again about your intentions, actions and sensibilities and how mixed up they are! On the one hand you send your child to the school you are lobbying against, and then say that the school is not maintaining standard. At the same time you distort and disrupt the school’s sanctity, yet you still continue to send your own children to that school! How Amazing Can This Get!

    I want to know about this school! I will definitely send my child to such a school that is THIS sought after! After all, all of you cannot be fools to protest against a school that is not giving quality of education or the value for your money yet you still want to send your children to it! You’d simply take your children elsewhere where you, your pockets, and your children are happier!!!

    There is a great degree of truth left untold here. This school has the quality you believe is best for your child. You are just taking this school for granted.Recommend

  • Hanif
    Sep 13, 2015 - 5:00PM

    Following table shows the increase in fee.
    Gross Increase
    Class VI 2011-12 9,125
    Class VII 2012-13 11,583 27%
    Class VIII 2013-14 13,733 19%
    Class IX 2014-15 16,393 19%
    Class X 2015-16 19,950 22%Recommend

  • OMAR
    Sep 13, 2015 - 7:40PM

    @ Nargis Bano…No ma’am the school is taking all the parents for granted….

    we are not confused either…if the school is justified in its fee increase….why they are giving options like to continue for the current session on old fee n need cum merit consessions…..
    Moreover, why not they conduct an audit & publish the report or atleast show it to the parents….
    They are not above the law…which clearly states that the cannot increase more than 5%.. which is also after providing proper justification & necessary approvals from relevant authority… Recommend

  • Naveed Rabbani
    Sep 14, 2015 - 1:25PM

    This is a clear example of hypocrisy as the owner of this school is also the CEO of Meezan Bank. While announcing annual increments for the employees, the management cited lower inflation rate as the reason behind lower increments in employee salaries, whereas they hypocritically increased the fees in their school. Now this may seem as a comment from a disgruntled employee but just for a second think about the person working in Meezan and sending his children to Generation School; will he able to continue and how?

    Just so you know, annual increments of the CEO were not effected by the lower inflation rate and he continues to be amongst the top earning bank CEOs in Pakistan.Recommend

  • concerned
    Sep 15, 2015 - 4:18PM

    This is specifically for ms nargis bano…maam ur words betray the fact that u r the owner of a private school because they r the only ones satisfied with the status quo. May you and ur type experience the hardships us parents have to go thru and may u after using up ur hard earned resources b left with no option but a bad option then u would know what all us parents are forced to do day in and day out ameenRecommend

  • Worried Parent
    Oct 1, 2015 - 3:09PM

    My two kids were studying in generation scholl. Every year around 25% increased in school fee was imposed on parents on the name of quality education. School management exploit the situation as they are well aware in middle classes it is almost impossible for parents to shift their children to another school. Although school management claims that they were focused on Islamic education but in the past management broke their own promise and force fully transfer the students from North Campus to South campus despite parents resistance and protest. School management claims that ther were not making profit from the school. It may be noted that around 3000 students were studing in school and school is charging over 17000 per month from each children. Roughly around 510 Million Rupee fee was charged to customer. School management should share their expense with parents for their satisfaction. It is strongly advised that Sindh Government should feel their responsibility and develop SOP and monitoring mechanism for operations of private school.Recommend

  • Justice Seeker
    Oct 3, 2015 - 3:53PM

    I am teacher at a reputed private school. Maximum pay raise given to the teachers on 80% performance is 5% per annum. Government should focus towards this exploitation as well. Kindly make the schools bound to increase the salary of teachers as per the rate of increase in fee or rate of inflation.Recommend

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