East Delhi schools oppose fee hike demand by city public schools

Post-Pay Commission recommendation: Area schools say parents can't afford raised fees

A group of schools in East Delhi are opposing the fee hike proposed for private, unaided schools across the Capital. They fear a large number of students will drop out if the fees are raised.

The Trans-Yamuna Public Schools' Federation, comprising 150 institutions from East Delhi, has petitioned the Directorate of Education (DoE) to reconsider the pay hike.

The Federation says small public schools in the area cater to lower income group families, and parents would not be able to afford private schooling if the Pay Commission recommendations were implemented as they are. The private schools are pushing for a fee hike apparently to pay teachers as per recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission.

But S P Jalan, secretary of the Trans-Yamuna Public Schools' Federation, said, "If we have to pay teachers as per the Pay Commission's recommendations, then fees would have to be increased to more than Rs 3,000 per month.

Parents who opt for these schools (in East Delhi) cannot afford to spend that much per child."

Jalan is also chairman of Mayo International School in IP Extension. He said fees in Trans-Yamuna public schools are in the region of Rs 700 per month.

Though the area has several government schools, people here, too, prefer the small private schools. "I am not educated but I want my son to study in an English-medium school," Kalyanpuri resident Poonam Devi said. "My husband owns a shop but expenses are already to steep. I don't know what we will do if schools raise fees."

Jalan said "lack of trust" in government schools has led to the explosion of small private schools in the area.

While people in pockets of East Delhi such as IP Extension, Nirman Vihar, Surajmal Vihar among others can afford to spend more on education and send their children to bigger schools such as DPS Noida, Amity, Lovely Public School etc, the commoners would be hit hard by the proposed fee hike, Jalan said. Many residents of East Delhi are second- or third-level government employees, own small businesses or work in the unorganised private sector. And these are the people who zero in on small private schools for what they feel is a better education for their children.

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