Parents seethe at government ineptitude over school fees

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Front Page

Staff Reporter
SHILLONG, April 15: The missionary run schools in the city and state at large have allegedly become “extremely expensive” but pragmatic solutions are forthcoming from affected lots in the face of an inept state government. Parents and guardians of the students of these schools have said that missionary/ private run schools hike their fees annually and the state government is found wanting in controlling these institution from their “looting run”.

The guardians of Loreto Convent (LC) have informed that the school is hiking fees by 10% every year, while brandishing receipts of their wards, and similar responses are also received from their counterparts at All Saints Diocesan Higher Secondary School (ASDHSS), not to forget the other private run schools in the state, including the Pine Mount School.
In LC parents and guardians are alleging that the school is collecting “uncountable” fees under “numerous” heads and fail to understand why a missionary school has to charge such exorbitant fees. In the latter, they said that the school is charging hefty fees from its students in the name of implementing smart classes. Parents and guardians are fuming, why they have to shed the amount for the smart classes when it is the responsibility of the ASDHSS authorities.
As always, they said that the state government is found mute since there are no regulations, checks and balances from their side. “Conrad Sangma is talking about work permits to labourers from across the border. Why is he not talking about his predecessor’s and his own government’s failure to regulate school fees in private and corporate schools,” said angry parents and guardians of these two prominent schools in the city.
Given the ineptitude of the state government, these parents observed that they have to resort to protest like their counterparts in other parts of the country. One guardian of LC informed that states like Gujarat have a ceiling cap of Rs. 1,250 per month for primary level and Rs. 2,300 for high schools whereas Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Punjab have fee caps besides Uttar Pradesh and Delhi are considering one.
“Why can’t Meghalaya have a similar cap? If the government can give permits to mushrooming private schools then why can’t the same government control student fees,” asked exasperated parents.
Meanwhile, interesting solutions are coming forward from informed guardians who observed that no missionary/ private run schools in the state display fees on their websites so that it becomes easier for parents to know before they admit their wards in a school. The prevailing “hidden” structure by intending schools is creating much fuss and grudges in the absence of extensive disclosure of the same.


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