Private schools hike tuition fees
Six private schools in the country have hiked the fees from next year
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.