TNI Bureau: Recently, Odisha High Court directed all schools to follow the guidelines during their fe- hike but the school authorities, particularly in Balasore Districts, have turned a deaf ear to the Court.
It is pertinent to note that, while disposing a petition–challenging hike in school-fees by different entities, the single bench justice Kumari Sanju Panda has disposed a direction to all schools operating within the state come under the provisions of odisha Education Act and thus need to follow the guidelines of a committee while increasing their fees. However, contrary to this direction, it is found that the Convent schools have hiked its fees to 150 fold within a span of last 2 years.
“These schools even started collecting fees under different heads like digital fees, karate fees etc. apart from regular monthly tuition fees,” said Sonali Mishra, a guardian. ‘It is interesting to learnt that in 2010, monthly tuition fees was in the range of Rs 230/ to Rs 250/- which was increased to Rs 450/- in 2011 and this year it has hiked it into Rs 630/- per month” said another guardian.
The schools which have hiked their fees are Maharshi, Sataysai, Aurobinda along with few others. When contacted, many school authorities said they were unaware of any such directives. Similarly the SSA coordinator and CI of schools, who manage the school affairs in the district, are also aware of such directives but unable to communicate to all such schools causing a burden on guardians concerning their school fees.
The Convent, a missionary run English medium school, has the highest reputation of hiking its fees every year arbitrarily in the name of providing quality education. The Principal was unavailable for comment while her co-sisters told that such decision are usually taken at their dioceses level which are their authorities. Thus, it seems HC directives to all schools in this district are openly violated. The same situation also happens in the adjacent districts of Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj and other.