Pri­vate schools hike tu­ition fees

Six pri­vate schools in the coun­try have hiked the fees from next year

Business Bhutan - - Front Page - Pema Sel­don from Thim­phu

Pri­vate ed­u­ca­tion in the coun­try is go­ing to be a tad ex­pen­sive from next year. The Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion (MoE) re­cently ap­proved fee re­vi­sion pro­pos­als sub­mit­ted by six pri­vate schools in the coun­try.

The pri­vate schools have been al­lowed to raise the fee by up to 10%, ac­cord­ing to

the Fo­cal Per­son of the Pri­vate School Di­vi­sion, Yeshey Lhendup.

The six pri­vate schools are Thim­phu Pri­mary School, Reldri High Sec­ondary School (HSS) in Phuentshol­ing, Nima HSS and ELC HSS in Thim­phu, Jam­pel HSS in Haa, and Yeoz­er­ling HSS in Paro. These schools have in­creased their an­nual tu­ition fees by Nu 4,000 to Nu 10,000.

Pelkhil School has also pro­posed for tu­ition fee hike but the min­istry is yet to ap­prove it.

Nima HSS pro­posed to raise the fee from Nu 40,000 to Nu 45,000 for arts and com­merce streams and from Nu 45,000 to Nu 50,000 for sci­ence stu­dents. The school last re­vised the fee in 2015.

The rea­son to in­crease the school fee again is to meet the cost for pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment for un­trained teach­ers by send­ing them for train­ing at Sam­ste Col­lege of Ed­u­ca­tion, ac­cord­ing to Nima HSS. In ad­di­tion, the school also pro­vides schol­ar­ship to 26 stu­dents in the form of tu­ition fee waiver.

Reldri HSS has in­creased the tu­ition fee from Nu 35,000 to Nu 40,000 for day schol­ars and from Nu 60,000 to Nu 70,000 for board­ing stu­dents.

Yeoz­er­ling HSS is in the process of dis­cussing the fee hike. “Al­though we have put up the pro­posal and wanted to raise the school fee, look­ing at the lo­cal econ­omy and stu­dents from the low in­come groups, their par­ents may not be able to af­ford it. So we might not in­crease the fee,” said the Prin­ci­pal of Yeoz­er­ling HSS, Chen­cho Tsh­er­ing.

In its pro­posal to MoE, Yeoz­er­ling HSS has added Nu 4,000 each to Nu 24000 fee for pri­mary stu­dents, Nu 36,000 for day schol­ars and Mu 61,000 for board­ers. The school will come up with a de­ci­sion on De­cem­ber 18.

The Prin­ci­pal of Jam­phel HSS, Dago Tsh­er­ing, said the raise is in light of in­creas­ing in­fla­tion and cost of liv­ing. “When there is a salary hike in the gov­ern­ment, there is a ten­dency to do so even in pri­vate schools,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to the prin­ci­pal, Jam­phel HSS re­vises its fee struc­ture to pro­vide bet­ter fa­cil­i­ties like lab, li­brary and hos­tel fa­cil­i­ties. “The re­vised fee is very min­i­mal,” he said.

Cur­rently, day schol­ars in Jam­phel HSS pay Nu 55,000 for sci­ence streams and Nu 40,000 for arts and com­merce streams as tu­ition fees while board­ers pay Nu 80,00 for sci­ence and Nu 65,000 for arts and com­merce streams. The school has in­creased the fees by Nu 5,000 both for day schol­ars and board­ers across all streams.

The Pri­vate School Di­vi­sion ap­proves the pro­pos­als based on jus­ti­fi­ca­tions pro­vided by the school.

Pri­vate schools have rea­soned out that the tu­ition fee hike is to meet the cost as­so­ci­ated with an­nual in­cre­ment of teacher salary, to re­tain trained teach­ers, and to en­hance pro­fes­sional ca­pac­ity of teach­ers. With the fee hike, the pri­vate schools plan to in­vest in ex­pan­sion of li­brary fa­cil­i­ties, re­place­ment of ob­so­lete equip­ment and fur­ni­ture and re­pair and main­te­nance. The pri­vate schools have also jus­ti­fied that the fee hike has be­come nec­es­sary in the wake of in­creas­ing cost of food and com­mod­ity.

Mean­while, the ba­sis for fee re­vi­sion and ap­proval is not clearly re­flected in the pri­vate school guide­line 2012, ac­cord­ing to the Fo­cal Per­son of the Pri­vate School Di­vi­sion.

The re­vised guide­line, which is still in the draft stage, has clear pro­vi­sions that al­low pri­vate schools to raise the fees, up to 10%, ev­ery two years.

How­ever, some prin­ci­pals and pro­pri­etors are not happy with the 10% ceil­ing. “They have writ­ten to us to re­con­sider the ini­tial pro­posal,” said Yeshey Lhendup.

Thim­phu pri­mary school wanted to raise the fee by 16.66%, from the cur­rent Nu 36,000 to Nu 42,000 while ELC HSS pro­posed 18.33% in­crease in fees, from Nu 36,000 to 43,200. These two schools have in­formed the min­istry that the ap­proval should not be based on com­par­i­son of school fees and other ad­di­tional pro­grams and ac­tiv­i­ties of­fered by the school need to be con­sid­ered.

The ed­u­ca­tion min­istry will present the guide­line at the monthly co­or­di­na­tion meet­ing in the first week of De­cem­ber.

Ac­cord­ing to the an­nual ed­u­ca­tion sta­tis­tics 2015, there are 14 pri­vate pri­mary schools, one pri­vate lower sec­ondary school, two pri­vate mid­dle sec­ondary schools, 18 pri­vate higher sec­ondary schools and 53 pri­vate child­care cen­ters in the coun­try.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Bhutan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.