Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Analysis of proposed fee hike

[Readers, please point out any errors or omissions - Ed].

Let us analyse the few purported 'facts' offered by the recent GIIS fee hike announcement, after filtering out all the filler words.

• Para #2 says:
'Singapore Land Authority ... has increased our school leases substantially'
This is probably the main item, being first in descending order.
Question to management: In support of this statement, please publish the past and present lease amounts for QT, EC, and new lease amount for Balestier.
If not revealed by school, we have to request figures from SLA, or from other similar schools. Help needed !

• Para #3 says:
'Average employee Cost to the School (CTC) has gone up by more than 60% in the past 2 years'
Question: Please publish the current CTC per employee per annum.
(If not revealed by school, estimates to be obtained. 60% pay rise on the average seems unusual).

'For every 15 students, a new teacher has to be employed...'
Of course ! But do not forget that every added set of 15 students pay over SGD 100,000 annually (transport excluded) ! Subtract from this the annual salary of one teacher employed, and the rest is pretty much additional profit, so why are we complaining about number of students ? If the number of students were a problem as suggested, expansion would have stopped automatically.

'combined teaching resources have risen to over 300 (includes full time & part time teachers)'
Take it as 300 x 15 = 4500 students, and work into the numbers above. This statement also reveals that part time teachers are being counted as equal to full time in calculating teacher to students ratio.

• Para #4 lists out:
'cleaning, security & nursing agencies ... medical Insurance for students, teachers and staff and ...ECA/CCA activities'
Question: Please publish the annual total. (These fees are subject to inflation but are obviously smaller ticket items).

Although the word 'inflation' has been prominently invoked, the figures do not add up. There is something missing !

We request the authorities to publish the facts and figures.

[Parents:
1. Please forward this post as email to management and request them for answers (HOW?) and make sure you vote on the fee hike survey (top left).
2. Please try to dig out the facts, from SLA, from teachers, ex-teachers, or any source. Share the facts and figures (some parents have already been doing this, thanks for your efforts).
3. If management does not seem to respond, contact the governing board, advisors, and other higher authorities that they are answerable to. Make them respond.
4. Adopt Gandhigiri by sending flowers as a commentor has suggested.
5. Continue to do what you would normally do, and not wait for the blogging parents to make things happen. A googlegroup is already being formed. It is better to work within your smaller trusted groups like your condo group. But please keep others updated of any progress. Use this blog ! When we meet with the management, ensure that you also have mediators at hand, and record the minutes. 'Shouting matches' do not serve any purpose.
6. Some of you are considering your options. Whether you stay and fight or move out, is an individual choice that we respect even though it will be a loss to those who remain.
7. Let us each explore possible further options if no response is forthcoming after all these measures.
]

6 comments:

to be continued said...

Salary of top executives: Very true. Mr.Atul and Mr.Kaustubh’s cars and fuel are borne by the school but the principals are not. As mentioned elsewhere, these two are relatives and so the others who enjoy similar salaries are people like Mr.Shailesh (Mr.Atul’s brother who takes salaries in Singapore dollars for ostensibly doing strategic operations for GIF in India!) and Mr.Atul’s other family members.

Office at Nariman Point,Mumbai: More importantly you should ask what is the need for maintaining such an office when the student recruitment to the hostel is less than 15).

Travel, marketing and advertisement costs: One of the conservative estimates places it at Singapore dollars 400,000 for the year 2006.It is likely to be bigger for 2007 if you include Harmony, all the guests who were put up in star hotels and ferried across Singapore in limousines.

Cost control : The only area where GIF has effectively controlled cost ( and to the detriment of quality) is in the area of appointment of teachers. The theory of teacher cost is a lie of the highest order .From Sept 2002 till May 2007 no teacher got an increment of even ONE dollar. This can be verified by talking to any present or ex-teacher of GIIS. The first increment was in July 2007 when exodus to NPS, ACS, ER International and others schools had started. And even then the increase was a princely sum that ranged between 40 and 60 dollars per month for most of the teachers and 200 per month in the case of just 4 teachers. More recently four teachers –one each in Biology, History, and two in Hindi had their salary revised to prevent them from going to NPS ( a local MOE school in the case of one of them) and after they showed their offer from other school(s)! This can be ascertained by talking to a few teachers just as I did. Now, if this is 60%, are GIIS teachers getting paid 100 dollars a month as salary??? In fact, the latest joke in the campus among the teachers is “ get an appointment letter or even a interview call from some other school and get a hike from HR”!

Cost of cancelling Julia Gabriel ? Saving perhaps 8000 to 9000 nett per month ( a few teachers were appointed to do the same thing + there was cost of syllabus procured). Cost of quality loss- enormous. Remember, at the time of admission we were told that MMI and Julia Gabriel are free value –adds

Confession said...

Refer your write-up on para 3 about average cost of employee which according to Mr.Kaustubh B has increased by 60% during the last two years. All that one has to do is to ask a cross section of the teachers what was the increment that they got in July 2006 and July 2007 ( and if you want to know about July 2005). Please ring up ten of them at least of Queenstown.Queenstown has less than 100 teachers as on date.
As a former teacher handling classes VIII to X, let me state what are the increments that I got here below:
July 2005 : NIL
July 2006 : NIL
July 2007 : 40 dollars
and I left the place subsequently.
So, just ask nine others and you will get the truth!

to be continued.. said...

On SLA lease amount increase: The arguments do not hold water. Please remember that the announcement to move to Queenstown was made in September 2004 and the school started the repairs there in November 2004. As interested parents, we all went there and saw things from outside. SLA normally does a 3 year review which means that the school would have got a note on increase of rent in November or before. Knowing the systematic way in which Singapore operates, the school would have got a note on proposed increase ( if at all) in November or more precisely three months before the end of the first lease i.e., in August. So, even assuming that GIIS had to increase fee to even out the rental increase, the timing of the announcement tells you something. If the school had announced the proposed increase in November or December or say even in January, all of us would have had the choice of moving our children to wherever we wanted- MOE schools, other international schools or DPS or NPS, giving the required three months notice and pulling out our children after the final examinations. Now, can you do that? You can but will lose a lot of money in the bargain. This is the umpteenth time that GIIS is trapping parents like this. First it was a heavy registration fee ( compare it to NPS which collects less than 25% of GIIS at entry for registration/admission), then there was this three months notice before taking transfer certificate and similar notice even for bus service! And now fee hike announced at a time when it ill suits us most. Very clever!

What about past 3 years' profits? : Good question. Why three, it should be five years’ profits. The question was ‘have they been squandered away?’. Well..yes and no. Quite a lot of the profits have been funnelled back to a close knit family. Some money has been squandered away to various airlines, hotels, new non-viable ventures (GIIS Auckland announced closure officially in early December and two weeks later reverted saying that with the help of parents, the school will continue). We know about Auckland because of this public announcement but one can easily guess the outcome of Tokyo and Yokohama ventures.

SLA Lease said...

I have sent one email from these blog pages, as below.

Sent to: atul@sg.globalindianschool.org

"MR Temurniker namashkar. please revert by email max in 1 or 2 days. put out actual dollar figures for land lease (SLA) before 2008 & after, individually for all locations. Thank you "

See how.

auditor said...

ex-Auditor found-

Wee Koon San & Co
International Plaza
email: wksnco@pacific.net.sg
Tel: 62275442.

GIF is registered as non profit. WKS&Co audited them in June 2006.

Who pays the fees ? Parents.
What right has GIF to hide the audit report ?

Parents please follow up this lead or ask for help from newspapers or authorities.

Anonymous said...

Check how Singapore American School justified its fee hike...

http://www.sas.edu.sg/schoolpublications/emails/2007/SAS/SAS_20070425.html

http://www.sas.edu.sg/schoolpublications/emails/2007/SAS/pdf/070425_Sched%20for%20Board%20Letter0708.pdf


Website showing all the previous price hikes in Singapore