Wednesday, 1 February, 2023
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Pvt schools charging excessive fees

Lack of monitoring blamed

Pvt schools charging excessive fees

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Most of the private schools in the capital are charging students additional fees for admission and readmission violating the government guidelines in the absence of strict monitoring, leaving guardians to feel the squeeze amid inflationary pressure.

The schools are taking fees in various names from students from pre-primary to Class-IX, which is much higher than the government-fixed one.

The admission guidelines-2023 state that Tk 8,000 can be charged during admission as monthly tuition fee, session fee and development fee for Bangla version while maximum Tk 10,000 can be taken for English version.

Development fee cannot exceed Tk 3,000. Session fee can be charged every year for admission to the next class after passing the annual examination at the same institution. However, the readmission fee cannot be charged.

The policy is applicable for all educational institutions in Dhaka city either partially under monthly pay order (MPO) facility or outside it.

However, it has been found after visiting some schools in the capital that Tk 15,000-20,000 is being charged for Bangla version admission instead of Tk 8,000 and up to Tk 35,000 for English version instead of maximum Tk 10,000.

These educational institutions have employed some tactics to collect extra money for admission.

Some of them are taking the government-fixed amount as session and admission fee and collecting additional money in the name of other fees, including tuition. While Tk 4,000-6,000 is being charged for stationery.

Cosmo School and College, Paradise International School and South Point School and College are some of the schools that are charging students higher fees.

During a visit, it was seen that Tk 35,000 is being taken for Class-I admission in English version at Cosmo School and College. Paradise International School is charging about Tk 17,000 for admission in English version.             Many parents are struggling to manage admission fees of their children amid rising living costs due to the hike in prices of all commodities.

Apart from regular monthly tuition fee and other fees throughout the year, session charge and development fees have become a burden for many guardians.

The cost of education in private schools is much higher than that in government ones. The cost burden is heavier for those who have more than one child.

According to the admission circular of Motijheel Govt High School in the capital, the total admission cost for a Class-I student is Tk 1,512 and for a Class-IX student Tk 1,556.

After admission, students need new school dresses, shoes, bags, books and notebooks in New Year. And due to the impact of the global recession, the prices of all items have increased and it has become very difficult for the guardians to meet these expenses.

Shahadat Hossain, guardian of a private school student, said, “Every year we have to pay a large amount of fees for admission during promotion from one class to another for our children. It has become a burden for us. For lack of strict monitoring by the government, schools are charging higher fees. The government should look into the matter at this time when prices of all things are too high.”

Abhibhabak Oikya Forum (Guardians Unity Forum) President Ziaul Kabir Dulu said, “Earlier, there was no policy regarding admission fees. Although a policy was formulated in the wake of our movement after 2011, there’re many inconsistencies in it.”

He said apart from the fixed fees, it is unreasonable to charge the same fee for admission in new class after promotion. Besides, tuition fee varies from school to school.

In this regard, a decision has to be taken to fix grade-wise tuition fees.

Dulu said apart from regular school expenses, students need additional materials such as books, dresses, shoes and bags. The prices of these items have increased a lot. In this situation, many parents will be in trouble with continuation of the education of their children.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education and Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE) have formed separate monitoring teams to investigate the allegations of such irregularities.

The four monitoring teams formed by the ministry started their work on December 21.

DSHE’s 16 monitoring committees of Dhaka metropolis, eight divisional and 55 district and upazila committees will send reports to the DSHE with all the information regarding admission fees of educational institutions across the country.

Apart from this, the field-level officials of DSHE will investigate specific complaints.

DSHE Director (Secondary) Md Belal Hossain told the Daily Sun, “Our monitoring committees started working. We’ll take action as per the reports submitted by the monitoring committees.”