Why Parents Must Rigorously Examine The Cost Of Private School Fees?

The rising costs of school fees is a very disturbing topic for parents of school children. One of the wonders of modern urban life is that irrespective of the hike in the salary of parents, the school fee is always more than the pay hike that the parents get.

Profit-motive is not allowed for schools – does not matter how posh the school!
A profit motive is not allowed in schools. The law is very clear.  But, some confused parents think otherwise and bring some movie logic into school fees.  Surprisingly, these confused and ignorant parents are very opinionated and tend to shout down other sane voices in private conversations and school Whatsapp groups.

High school fees will not deliver any wonders  – get a reality check
It is not that the school fee is something that delivers extra-ordinary skills in your child and makes them extremely competent and super-human.  Other parents are also paying the same fee and their kids are also given the exact same school training. Your kids are not receiving any special mentorship when you pay higher fees. They get the same schooling that every other kid in the class and various sections are receiving in that school. Like your kids’ school, in the same neighborhood, there are many other similar schools. Don’t be in a false impression that the school is doing something extra-ordinary. School education is quite basic and very standardized.  So nothing extra-ordinary will come out from this routine schooling.

If your kid is very talented in some aspect and the school has great talent that can hone that skill and develop it – that is wonderful. But the reality is this does not happen for 99% of kids. So why are you paying these high school fees?  Are you becoming financially weak by overspending on school,  so that you cannot afford the fees for college education which really sets the direction for your kid’s career?

High school fees  weaken you financially – deprives your kid of quality college education
Saving 25K, 50K, or 1Lakh per year for 10 years can multiply on a compounded basis and enable you to give some really high-quality education in college. Conversely, becoming poor by wasting hard-earned money in school fees,  can weaken the child’s future due to a lack of savings for college.

Rigorously examine the cost of private school fees
Instead of only comparing the fees of the school from one school to another. Parents need to examine the cost of the services provided by that specific school and only provide a 10% surplus as various courts have repeatedly given judgments.

School teachers are respected and a long-term relationship is maintained by the students. One of the satisfaction of teaching in school and being involved with school education is the higher purpose of shaping the future.

Training institute teachers may be respected for skills and delivering results but not given the same all-round respect as a school teacher. A very commercial relationship of ‘paying fees, training should give me a job’ is maintained with the job-oriented training institutes faculty.

School teachers and management –  expected to lead a non-materialistic simple life
School owners and administrators culturally were supposed to show the way by leading a non-materialistic life. Living in upscale neighborhoods, driving foreign luxury cars, and living a life of luxury is not culturally associated with teachers.

In Mahabharata, after the end of the Kurukshetra war as Bheeshma lay on the bed of arrows. Bhagwan Krishna urges the Pandavas to take the advice of Bheeshma on how to rule the kingdom properly. In the last few chapters of Shanti Parva in the Mahabharata. An important question that Yudisthira asks is that among all the ways of leading a virtuous life, what is the most virtuous way?

In reply, Bheeshma lays out that there a thousand ways to go to Swarga, but the highest method is to live by the vow of Unccha. Devoted to the good of others,  living with yamas and niyamas in contemplation of good thoughts and holy scriptures is the crowning and glorious method of reaching Swarga. Unccha way of living is living with bare minimum material possessions.  Teachers have been respected in India, far more than any other culture – not only for knowledge but for leading by example and living a non-materialistic life.

Highly commercial school damages the personality of your child
A highly commercial private school distorts reality and teaches only materialism. How can it set a moral example and set an example for kids to live with virtues, character, and values?  If at all some kids, still have that, it is due to their parents and innate nature and not by the school.

Considering all the above, it is important for the parents to rigorously examine the school fees and do back of the envelop calculations to figure out if the fees are worth it.

  • Is the fee for school services or the plush lifestyle of the school owner?
  • Is the fee for this school or establishing another school by the management?

Paying unneeded high school fees destroys your kids future – it does not help it. Money is not the solution for every problem. If money could buy virtues, then Olympic medals would be available to the highest bidder!