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Highlighted article: International schools in Mumbai are effected by new regulation.

December 11, 2011

Are the costs of sending your children to an international school too much for families in the middle class?  Are their too high in general for everyone?  A new regulation in Mumbai is effecting international schools there as it has been applied to all schools in the area: to limit schools in how much they can hike up their schools fees.  Currently there are 8 international schools listed in Mumbai on International School Community.

“The Maharashtra Educational Institutions (Regulation of Collection of Fee) Act, 2011, looming on the horizon of international schools has left managements in a tizzy.

International schools in Mumbai complain that its implementation will pose a challenge to maintenance of state-of-the-art infrastructure and high standards of education, if they are allowed only a 15% hike in fee — as has been laid down by the Act.

“The regulation should consider all perspectives like the huge gap between international schools and other schools due to the quality of education and teacher training, affiliation fees and salaries. So, it is not fair to keep the same bar for both,” argued V Balasubramanium, director, NES International School, Mulund.

Parents, though, are grinning from ear to ear, as the middle-class will now have easy access to affordable, good quality education.

Schools are mulling over ways to cut corners to skim through the problem. Kalpana Patel, principal of the Savitridevi Hariram Agarwal International School, Kandivli, elaborated, “The new regulation will put more pressure on schools. We will have to cut and squeeze our expenses for activities like sports day and annual day.”

The biggest task, after the Act is enforced, will be convincing parents to loosen their purse strings. Vandana Lulla, director-principal of the Podar International School, said, “If the parents-teachers association grants permission, schools can hike fees. Schools should be transparent in giving reasons for such a hike. Schools need to work out a plan.”

Manjusha Nabar, whose son studies at the Gundecha Academy, Kandivli, says the regulation will stop schools from charging exorbitant fees, allowing parents from middle income group to also dream big for their children.

Raju Tirmallee, another parent from Dombivli, said several parents have had to take a loan to pay for school fees. “The regulation should bring capitation fees under control.”

Taken from the Daily News & Analysis website.