Posters Effect: Government to hold meet on school fee: Partha Chatterjee

Education minister Partha Chatterjee
Education minister Partha Chatterjee on Saturday said the Bengal government would soon convene a meeting with guardians and school representatives to discuss the issue of “tuition fees” charged by private educational institutions in the hills as well as across the state.
Chatterjee said chief minister Mamata Banerjee would be present at the meeting.
The education minister was in Darjeeling to attend the fifth foundation day celebration of the West Bengal Sherpa Cultural Development Board at Chowrasta. The issue of “exorbitant tuition fees” was raised before the minister as posters had sprung up in Darjeeling on Saturday morning alleging that schools were fleecing guardians.
Told about this concern, Chatterjee told journalists: “A meeting will be convened soon between guardians and school representatives, not just for the hills but the entire state, regarding fees of private institutions. Chief minister will also be present at the meeting.”

“We have to see how far we can go but concerns of students and parents also have to be looked into,” he added.
The poster plastered in the name of “janata (public)” at Darjeeling’s Chowk Bazar also lashed out at politicians for keeping mum on the issue and threatened that people could hit the streets on this issue. “We also appeal to the administration to intervene,” said the poster.
Hill schools are now reopening for a new academic session after a three-month winter vacation.
Asked about the posters, a director of a hill school said: “The schools have become a soft target.” “The hills are expensive in every sense. Compare the tuition fees with Siliguri schools and you will get the difference,” added the director.
School management representatives were also of the opinion that the issue of tuition fees was far more complex. “The minister has to compare tuition fees of other states, too. Then, schools’ stature, facilities and salaries need to be taken into account,” another educationist said.
Comparison was drawn on the fees with other top schools outside the state. “Some of the best boarding schools in India charge between Rs 4 lakh and 5 lakh annually. The hill boarding schools charge between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 3 lakh,” he said.
A random collection of information revealed that most Darjeeling schools charged fee ranging from Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,100 per month from a student. However, some “better known” schools have monthly fees between Rs 3,000 and Rs 6,000, depending on class and stream.
These figures are of tuition fees, but most schools take money from students under different heads like transport.
In Siliguri, some better known schools have fees ranging from Rs 3,400 to Rs 3,800. Monthly transport fees ranged from Rs 1,100 to Rs 1,800.
However, a parent of a student at one school in Siliguri said the monthly tuition fee was Rs 6,000 and transport by school bus would cost another Rs 3,000 per month. “But the buses are air-conditioned so are classrooms,” the parent said.

https://www.telegraphindia.com
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Education minister Partha Chatterjee on Saturday said the Bengal government would soon convene a meeting with guardians and school representatives to discuss the issue of “tuition fees” charged by private educational institutions in the hills as well as across the state.

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