Kashmir Indepth

No check on admission fees in Valley schools

Coaching centres charge as per their own will

Ishtiyaq Ahmad

Srinagar Aug 30 (KINS): With thousands of parents fighting over a few hundred seats in a limited number of good schools in the Valley, the private institutions call the shots during the admission season.

Similarly, coaching centres have been charging students as per their own will which is taking a heavy toll on students and their parents.  

The current fee structure in the private schools is around Rs 5000 per month. Besides, students pay about Rs. 20,000 annually for other purposes.

But when it comes to reputed schools in Kashmir, the figure increases significantly and the admission fee quotes anywhere around or above Rs.1 lakh twenty thousand, which parents have to shell out even after their wards undergo a rigorous interview and evaluation process.

Also there seems to be no regulatory authority for schools which could decide the amount to be paid for admissions. In addition to this, the Right to Education Act prohibits both — the practice of schools accepting donations as well as interviewing children during admissions. However, nothing seems to prevent schools from seeking donations during admission time every year. And parents continue to pay.

Asif Ahmad (name changed) who applied for a seat for his daughter in a noted school of the Valley said, “School managements are cashing in on the anxiety of parents as they know that parents will go to any length to get their child into a good school. They also know that they will go scot-free as there is nobody to monitor them.”

Another parent, Shazia also expressed helplessness over the high admission fee charged by the private institutions.

“I was dead against paying a donation, but as a parent one has many considerations. We did a lot of research and found very few schools meeting our requirements. Such schools invariably come with a huge price tag as they know they are in demand,” she told news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS).

A group of aggrieved parents said that if one were to look at progressive teaching and learning methods adopted world over, LCD monitors or air-conditioned classrooms are hardly considered basic requirements.

“What really matters is whether a school has well-trained teachers, a healthy teacher-pupil ratio and an engaging curriculum that encourages children to think independently. But sadly, for most city schools, fancy facilities in the garb of infrastructure and ‘smart classrooms’ have become unique selling propositions of sorts,” they echoed.

Similarly, the coaching centres have been charging students as per the will. In one of coaching centres in uptown Srinagar, students are being charged from Rs 1 lakh to 2 lakh annually.

 “I was charged over Rs 1 lakh last year for my son who studied in class 12th. There is no accountability on coaching centres who are charging students as per their own will,” Bashir Ahmad, a parent said. (KINS)

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