Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Rising cost of education worries parents, survey shows


Rising cost of education worries parents, survey shows


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NEW DELHI: While the cost of private education has always been prohibitive, education in government-run institutions has also increased sharply in the last one month with the HRD ministry taking the decision to hike under-graduate fees in IITs by 80%.

Earlier, the fees for Kendriya Vidyalaya students increased three-fold from Rs 4,500 to Rs 12,000 annually. The KV fee hike impacts 11 lakh students in 1,090 schools. The last fee hike in both cases took place in 2008-09, and has been long overdue.

The decision to hike fees for undergraduate courses from Rs 50,000 to Rs 90,000 annually was taken on Monday at the meeting of the IIT Council. In the case of IIT, the student fees include only 30% of the total operational cost of the institute and comes at a time when the premier tech institutes are working to become self-sufficient.

The mounting cost of education in recent years has eaten into a major part of the household budget. An Assocham survey showed that 65% of parents spend more than half their take-home pay on their children's education, extra co-curricular activities placing significant burden on their family budget.

According to the survey, parents spending on a single child's education has gone up from Rs 35,000 in 2005 to over Rs 94,000 in 2011 on such items and activities as integral to the school curriculum like fees, transport books, uniform, stationery, building fund, educational trips, extra tuitions and extra-curricular activities.

The survey highlights that the rising cost of education, has become a major cause of worry for parents. Majority of parents spend on average more than Rs 18 lakh-20 lakh in raising a child by the time their teen graduates from high school.

According to government data, average private expenditure on secondary education in private schools is as high as Rs 893 per month as compared to only Rs 275 per month in government schools primarily due to difference in high tuition fees in private institutions.

Aggregate public spending on education during the 11th Plan period is estimated at Rs1244,797 crore for both the Centre and states taken together. About 43% of the public expenditure on education was incurred for elementary education, 25% for secondary education and the balance 32% for higher education.

About half of the Central government's expenditure was incurred for higher education and the remaining for elementary (39%) and secondary (12%) education. In the state sector, about 75% of education expenditure is for school education, of which 44% is on elementary education and 30% on secondary education.

Public expenditure on secondary education has increased from 0.78 % in 2007-2008 to 1.05% in 2011-2012.

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