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Friday, April 12, 2024

Dr Pramod Sawant allowing private schools to hike fees is an insensitive move during a global pandemic!


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The recent circular by the Goa Directorate of Education earlier in the week allowing private schools to hike schools came to me as a shock.

In fact it was my wife that brought it to my notice and I rationally defended it stating it is not logical for any government to allow for private schools to hike fees at a time of a global pandemic.

But she was right and I was wrong. The Goa government has indeed issued such a circular and I am shocked at the insensitivity of the Goa government.

Every year private schools hike up their fees by 10 per cent and we parents have never complained because we understand the quality of education and schooling our children get. It is one of the reason we put them in a private school.

When officials are questioned on the fee hike, they have the audacity to mouth, you have government schools put your children in a government aided-school. It makes great rhetoric but that does not even answer the question on why the private schools have been allowed to hike the fees at a time when globally there is an economic crisis.

The coronavirus has affected business across the world not only in Goa. 

Our children’s education and rhythm has been interrupted mid-way. They did not even complete their schooling for the last semester due to the coronavirus pandemic and have now moved to a new grade.

If the business of schools were affected, so would the financial situations of parents who work and who run businesses. In the coronavirus pandemic, we are all facing economic crunches.

In fact I would have expected that the Goa government to step in and work along with the private institutions to rationalise the fee structure this year. 

We do not even know when school will start and if it will start. We also do not know if it will start will it be safe for our children. We do not know what measures of physical schooling or online schooling will be adopted.

My children go to one of the best schools in Goa. I am extremely proud of their achievements and benefits accrued because of their experiences in their school.

I would be affected by an increase of their fees but I would not interrupt their schooling mid-way after they have spent their entire schooling in one school. Also I would not take an adverse decision because I like the school.

As a parent I do not see a grave issue with a fee hike if the situation was a normal financial situation. It is understandable. This year however, we are all facing a global economic slowdown, you would expect that the private schools would be considerate because there is an economic crisis all over.

If there is an unprecedented increase in the fees because of the coronavirus pandemic and allowed by the Goa government then I am afraid it is an insensitive move by the Goa government.

Several states in India have advised private schools not to increase their fees. That is the right thing to do at a time when we are grappling with a health and economic crisis.

I hope the Goa government, parents and private schools come to an understanding to act in a humanitarian manner during such unprecedented times.

Jai Hind!


  1. in times where liquidity crunch has smacked down everybody from rich to poor like a domino effect, hiking fees is unwise

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