The past week has seen most of the schools in Bangalore and around the country reopen much to the chagrin of most working parents – they were in for a surprise – a hike in fees in excess of 20% (definitely higher than most parents hikes !). The reasons for the hike have been varied – some justified – some, well not so justified.
One of the most valid and explicable reasons has been the spate of incidents in schools that have required the use of CCTV cameras. These cameras need to be installed at all vantage points in schools and need to be connected to DVRs that record the events captured by the cameras. All these add costs, not to mention the personnel to monitor the cameras on various TV’s/monitors once they are wired to a central data center/NOC.
Again, as a direct fall-out of the recent unpleasant incidents – more thorough verification of the employees/teachers needs to be done to weed out unwanted elements (or even prevent them from being hired in the first place). Last but not least – are salaries of teachers and instructors.
In the light of all the above – schools have passed on the costs of all of these to parents instead of considering these as long term investments and amortizing these expenses.
Besides the above option, which would raise fees marginally, schools typically have decided to pass on these costs to current parents right away – to parents who were not prepared for this increase. So parents who are planning their finances in conjunction with the kids financial year – which could include things like sports lessons, music lessons, tuition and special classes, it becomes problematic financially to incorporate hikes that are totally unexpected.
School fees have more recently been an increasing as a percentage of the parents’ annual budget. Parents increasingly want the “best” of education for their children, and in this quest they end up paying a high proportion of their income on their children’s education. That said, school fees typically are typically paid as a single installment or at best 2-3 installments per year. The reason schools and colleges have it this way are two fold
- Get their money up front from the parents
- Difficulty in collecting payments on a monthly basis (as it is a hassle both for the parents and the school).
The only solution to these problems is the appropriate use of technology. Technology can be used to help schools collect fees on time and on a regular basis. Using a platform such as BluSynergy, schools would send our a notification to parent on, say, a monthly basis, requesting payment (Email/SMS and even a voice call). The parent would then click on the link to make the payment using multiple payment options available including credit/debit card, netbanking from about 50+ banks. With the BluSynergy platform, the data in the school’s database would be in sync using our inbound REST API’s and would initiate a fee payment request to parents whose children are valid students in the school. Once the fee payment is made, parents would get an update about this along with a fee receipt. This information would then be updated in the school’s system using our outbound API.
For more information on the BluSynergy solution for schools refer to http://www.blusynergy.in/schools/