Education shouldn’t be a business, the Minister said.

CBSE schools will be made accountable for unreasonable fees says HRD Minister JavadekarPrakash Javadekar/PTI
news Education Sunday, April 30, 2017 - 12:27

Since last year, there have been many protests across major Indian cities like Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi over the exorbitant hikes private schools implement on fees year on year. Parents have taken to the streets and created online campaigns to speak up and protest about the issue.

In what could throw significant weight behind the parents’ demands, Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Saturday that CBSE schools charging “unreasonable” fees would be held accountable.

Speaking to media persons in Pune, Javadekar emphasised on the need for a regulatory mechanism for CBSE schools and said that the institutions will be held “accountable” for the quality of education they provide as well as exorbitant fees.

Javadekar said that while he “welcomed” private investment in education as it helps improving the quality, he had noted that once private schools are awarded CBSE-affiliation, there are no restrictions on them.

“Even state officials cannot go to CBSE schools. I will put an end to this as all these schools must offer good education and charge reasonable fees,” he said.

Acknowledging the number of private schools cropping up in the country, Javadekar said that these institutes “should not become a business”. He added that they were in the midst of a policy formulation for CBSE schools to ensure the “co-existence of government and private schools to improve the quality of education.”

Reiterating the need for quality over cost, Javadekar said that education should not be made commercial by private institutions. “There are complaints from parents that all these schools charge unreasonable fees,” he added.

Many private schools across the country have been implementing exorbitant fee hikes (15% and more) and parents have been crying foul. However, many parents comply as they are reluctant to change their children’s’ schools every year. Others are afraid to protest because schools make them sign undertakings that if they protest against the school, their child may face rustication.

Also read: Schools hike fee year after year and for what? Parents ask questions

On whether the Ministry would take steps to initiate an inquiry into CBSE schools, Javadekar said that the matter was under consideration. “CBSE is just an affiliation body that conducts examinations. It doesn't have a system or inspector of its own. It creates curriculum, books, it conducts examinations and it gives out certificates,” he said.

Apart from fee hikes, Javadekar also acknowledged the need to train teachers better. He contrasted between some “fly-by-night institutes” where students could obtain degrees easily, whereas some good BEd colleges were not doing very well.

To rectify the same, Javadekar said that they were seeking affidavits from BEd and DEd colleges, and added that 6,500 affidavits had already been obtained. He said that only the good institutes will stay in operation.

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