Tuesday, March 25, 2008

GIIS QT: Year 2006 Accounts Highlights

[This summary is derived from the previous post by K.Bala (that post page has been removed). We apologize for any inconvenience caused. The same data appears on this post in numerical form. If anyone has any objection to this , please feel free to add a comment to explain the objection. We wish to retain our right to discuss the data without violating anyone else's rights. -Ed]
Question: How accurate or reliable is this data ?
Positives: The data matches up with the lease amount paid to SLA for GIIS Queenstown (exactly known), and our own estimate of tuition fees. Transfers to GIIS New Zealand, GIIS Japan, GIIS Thailand and GIIS Malaysia match up with the timeline where expansions were announced (2006).
Small debits shown going to GIIS Australia, GIIS China and GIIS US ($30 only): These were pointed out to be non-existent. However, they could be just names of expense accounts. Amount paid to Julia Gabriel for Speech and Drama (about S$107K) has not been verified (help wanted). Transfer of about S$ 5,200 to IIM Bangalore matches timeline (2006) but can only be verified by contacting IIM Bangalore authorities (help wanted).
It is impossible to say with 100% certainty, but we are about 95% certain that the figures are real. But we encourage you to do your own analysis and independent verification.

Question: Why are these data relevant to parents ?
The discussions on the fee hike are constrained by lack of data on costs including the campus lease/rental charge, bus service charges etc which were blamed as the major factors for the fee hike. Parents wish to have the data so that they can analyse the numbers and be well informed before making their judgement on the hike.
We request GIIS/GIF not to withhold information which is important to parents.

The highlights for GIIS Queenstown (Year 2006) are as follows:

GIIS QT has "transferred" or "donated" S$ 1.94 million to GIF in 2006.
GIIS QT has transferred S$ 415,327 to GIIS New Zealand.
GIIS QT has paid about S$5,200 to IIM Bangalore.
GIIS QT has paid $640,368 to Indian Schools Pte Ltd.
GIIS QT has received about S$8.995 million in Tuition Fees.
GIIS QT has received about S$2.4 million in Bus Fees.
GIIS QT has paid about S$1.38 milion as Bus Payments.
GIIS QT has paid S$1,289044 as lease (rental) to SLA.
GIIS QT has spent about S$167 K as cleaning expenditures
GIIS QT has spent about S$292 K on advertising
GIIS QT has spent about S$61 K on guests and dignitaries.
GIIS QT turned a profit of about S$ 3.8 million after all the outflows were considered (including transfers as noted above).

[Images removed 25/03/2008, see numbers above instead -Ed]

We request GIF to refute the above accounts if they are wrong, and publish their true accounts. (We have always welcomed GIIS/GIF management to join this blog)

A request to all commentators: Please avoid personal attacks. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

What is the credibility of the financial information presented here? Is the originator of this blog a decendent of Raja Bhoj that one should believe his/her word?

What is the proof that these are indeed figures from GIIS's accounts?
Anyone could type up these figures, put red markings, scan and post them on the blog!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Bala, do other schools in Singapore make their accounts open to the parents of their students? Why are you singling out GIF to make their accounts public?

Have you seen DPS's accounts or NPS's accounts?

helper said...

Good point. This is the way we should all think !

The lease amount tallies correctly with SLA government figures. The bus fee collection and tuition fees also tallies roughly. We should approach MMI etc for the other parts as suggested.

If AT&Co get worked up by these revelations and send 'trolls' to sling mud in this forum, and 'thugs' to abuse suspects.. then we know for sure these figures are real !

If AT&Co publishes the true accounts, then we will immediately know whether these numbers are correct or not... But knowing AT&Co... they will never publish the truth !

So we parents are in a fix. Who to believe ?

Anonymous said...

HOT News
[May 2009: EDITED sentence below based on objection raised in ref: Bodhankar Affidavit of 9 May 2009 paragraph 4(iv), page 4]
Commissioner of Charities deregisters three dubious charities..


donor said...

Taking about 2000 parents together "donated" about $2 mil to GIF, then each "donated" about S$1000 a year. I would like to know.. how did GIF spend the money ?

Anonymous said...

AT on The Mahatma Gandhi Center for Values and Thoughts


Anonymous said...

Yes credibility of data is questionable but why to compare with DPS and NPS ? Do they claim to be Non profit organization?
Don't forget that our motive here is to have a better GIIS not better NPS or DPS. The discussion about account has started because of the unjustified increment in school fees and Bus fees. We have the right to know where the money is being used.

Comments Policy: Comments are welcome but no personal attacks please. Thanks for your support.


Anonymous said...

According to the Charities Act in Singapore, all Charities are required to submit their Annual Report to the Commissioner of Charities. The Commisioner of Charities has the right to make the Annual Report can be made available for interested public, for which a procedure is to be followed. Instead of publishing scandalous financial figures, it may be worthwhile for the interested to visit the office of the Commissioner of Charities and make a formal request for inspection of GIF's Annual Reports. Is anybody willing to do this? For details, please read the Charities Act, Chapter 37. It is available on the internet.

Anonymous said...

It is known to all that GIF's annual report can be easily obtained through commissioners of charities,but GIF's balance sheet will be clean as it will be thoroughly scrutinised as per the charities act. But I am still interested to know how did GIF spend the 1.9 million sgd it recieved as donation from GIIS QT campus.

Anonymous said...

My goodness 50% of Profits from GIIS QT branch goes to GIF and where did this money go? Is it still in its coffers or AT has blown it on Properties/Shares dubious investments. Reminds me of the Fugitive Biscuit King Rajan Pillai. He could not escape the Singapore police and Singapore Govt. AT's days are numbered....and I think Justice Dharmadhikari will be on run too. No one is invincible....The GIIS should replace its board of Governors ,,,,,GIIS should be seperated from GIF. God save the schools and its students.

Anonymous said...

Will the Annual Report of GIF not show what the $1.9 million donation from GIIS QT has been used for?

Has anybody tried to get GIF's annual report (not just GIIS's financial figures).

YD said...

To the person who said 'God save the schools and its students':
God will help but man should act. Otherwise we will all look more foolish. We have already been had !

Anonymous said...

I 100% agreed with YD. We need to do something to have a good school under proper management here in singapore otherwise this will go on always and we all parents will be suffered. Any idea if anyone going to meet indian high comm or we can request RDR to arrange for a meeting. All parents, please advice.

Anonymous said...

What people have been doing is just raising doubts but there is no concrete evidence which proves that the GIIS management has done anything wrong. This is not enough to nail the GIIS mgt down. I am sure AT and co. will not be stupid enough to bluff on payments made to 3rd parties (such as Julia Gabriel etc) which can be easily verified. What should be looked at is transfers within GIF establishments. For example I am sure GIIS can produce evidence that an amount of $xyz which the balance sheet shows has been transferred to GIIS NewZealand, has indeed been transfered. It is necessary to know what happened to that money after it was transferred. Was it put to its indended use or siphoned off? For that purpose, it is necessary to get hold of the balance sheets of GIIS New Zealand and all such internal establishments of GIF to which the funds were internally transferred. More effort is required to get to the bottom of this matter. To be fair, we do not no for sure at this stage if GIIS management has indulged in any wrong doings. All that we have are doubts and questionmark which have not been proved one bit. We simply cannot hope to nail down these people with the information we have at present.

Bye the way, one question. These so called dubious transactions have happened in 2006 well before the fee hike was announced. Why is it that the fee hike has triggered interest in the past transactions? I mean if GIIS had not increased the fees, would no one have raised questions about their spendings in 2006? Any credible answers to this question?

Anonymous said...

I am mot agree with previous comments regarding "no concrete evidence" provided. The Bhavan's letter and 2005 Audit report is not a concrete evidence.
Regarding 2006 data, we've confirmed with SLA figures and it matches correctly, bus fee also matches more or less. why don't you send the link to GIIS and ask them to show us the true picture if these evidences are not correct.

My concern so far we have seen many proofs but no comments from GIIS, this itself proves that they have no asnwer.

Please judge the fact by yourself.

Anonymous said...

Question: Why are these data relevant to parents ?
Answer: The discussions on the fee hike are constrained by lack of data on costs including the campus lease/rental charge, bus service charges etc which were blamed as the major factors for the fee hike. Parents wish to have the data so that they can analyse the numbers and be well informed before making their judgement on the hike.

With reference to the above, I would like to ask the person who has raised this question - when other international schools in Singapore raise their fees, is there any record of they having provided similar information/justification as you expect GIIS to provide? If there is no such precedence or if Singapore's laws does not make it mandatory for the school managements to make such disclosure, why should GIIS volunteer to provide this information. Has anyone looked at this aspect?

Anonymous said...

In the poll, it appears that a good 81% of the persons consider that a fee hike is not justified at all! We are all questioning the fee hike, but is is really reasonable to expect there to be no fee hike at all? We all know that prices have gone up and inflation is up. Therefore, it is a bit ridiculous to expect no fee rise at all! We cannot expect zero fee hike. The only issue that the hike should be reasonable and should correspond to the increase in the costs affecting the working of the school.

Girish said...

Here are the answers.There is no such thing as' Singapore Laws'! There are statutes, acts and regulations.
There are acts that govern companies, acts that govern charities and acts that govern IPCs. You have the choice of not asking a questions and pay the fee hike. No issues. But I as a stakeholder,consumer and parent of a Indian school run along ' non profit' basis and following Gandhian principles, will ask because I have not received quality to the extent that I pay for.The other schools don't raise their fee 30 days before the start of the new term and insist on three months' notice from those who wish to quit.Other schools don't spend money of TV and newspaper advertisments. Other schools don't admit more kids than what the class/school can hold.Other schools don't have three cricket/football teams as advisors and spend tuition fee revenue on these advisors.

Anonymous said...

If there is such a big concern about where GIIS/GIF is spending their money, why did it need a fee hike to trigger all this investigation into where GIIS's money goes? We are talking about GIIS's accounts for 2005 or 2006, well before this fee hike. If the transactions during that period are questionable, they have got nothing to do with the fee hike. Why is it that people have started looking into it and raising questions now? What were all these watchdogs doing in 2007? If there had been no fee hike, would these issues have been raised even now? (Honest answer is expected?).

Is it wrong to say that the sudden interest in GIIS's accounts is merely a reaction to vent out the frustration at the fee hike?

It makes sense if we just focus on challenging the GIIS management into limiting the fee hike only to the extent that can be justified. By raising other issues like their past accounts, we are shifting the focus from the main issue. This amounts to shooting ourselves in the foot.

my foot said...

So Sir, do you mean that we should just pay up and quieten down ? That sounds like one option!

Or if that is not your suggestion, perhaps you intend that we should base our calculations on the correct 2007 data (preferably after obtaining it by gently requesting GIIS/GIF to release the data to us) ? Please advise.

'We' are advised not to go around shooting 'ourselves' in somebody else's foot !!! :)

Anonymous said...

"...pay up and quieten down ?" NOPE! Certainly not. Infact I have not said that. Please read my message carefully.

My point is -

i. Raise only the issue of fee hike right now. Get GIIS management to lower down the fee hike to only what is justifiable. I do not think it is realistic to expect no fee hike at all.

ii. Questions about GIIS's accounts should not be raised right now. If there are concerns about where the money goes, it may be taken up later, after the fee hike issue is resolved.

We have to be focused only on the fee hike issue. Firing bullets in all directions is not going to help the cause.

satyapriya w said...

We also parse propagandese and rhetoric rather well.. it's mutual!

myfoot said...

Good point. request you to use a name (suggest 'mr.steel') so we know how to refer...

Newspapers have reported 3.7% raise in educational fees. That may be a thumb rule for a 'normal' organization (which is not mismanaged).

But who will ensure that money is well spent? Or, should we bother?

Mr. India said...

Do we know what do educational fees comprise of? Do they include items such as rental of the school premises, water electricity charges, buses etc? If not then in addition to the educational fees raise, the school fee hike would also need to factor in the increase in other costs like rental of school building, water-electricity, each of which may have increased by different percentages. In that case it won't be easy to work out what the fee hike should be.

The biggest factors affecting the fee hike would probably be the increase in rental charges of the premises, increase in utilities costs, salaries hikes.

As an alternative, is there any record of how much the other international schools in Singapore have hiked their fees this year? Lets forget the quality of the schools for a while, but it can provide a reasonable basis for justifying, if GIIS's fee hike is unreasonable.

shree 420 said...

Dear Mr. India ji

If you want compare GIIS with 'real' International school there is huge differences. You are not familiar with all those things discussed in blog from Oct or Nov 2007. Only parents who have real child in GIIS will know that very well enough. So why compare to real international schools only for fees.

If you want us to "forget the quality of the school" and still pay more... you are more charitable than us, sorry. Parents are looking for something in return for fees paid.

Mr. India said...

Dear Shree 420 ji,

When you enrolled your child in GIIS (or the erstwhile ICS),

i. Were you not aware that their fees were far lesser than that for the so called 'real' international schools?

ii. Having known that you were paying just 50% or 60% of the fees charged by the 'real' international schools, did you still expect GIIS to be of the same quality as the 'real' international schools?

iii. Do you not agree that inspite of the recent fee hike, GIIS fees are still significantly lower than that of the 'real' international schools?

While paying significantly lower fees compared to the 'real' international schools, do you still expect the same quality of school as the 'real' international schools.

Let us not have any myths. The main reasons why most of the expat Indians have enrolled their kids in GIIS is - A school running on Indian curriculum available at cost significantly lesser than other international schools. If say, GIIS fees had been of the same level as other international schools, would you still have gone for GIIS?

The point I want to make is that we have to accept that while paying lesser, we cannot expect the same standards as other schools charging higher fees. So, the issue of quality should not figure in this discussion!

As I said in my previous post, it may be worthwhile to find out how much have other international schools hiked their fees this year. If the hike is not of the same order as GIIS, then there will be a strong case to contest GIIS's fee hike.

Anonymous said...

Who gave GIIS the right to donate millions out of what is paid by you and me as fees, to GIF, a dubious charity ? This is clearly misgovernance. No wonder money will never be enough

Mr. India said...

I agree that GIIS has no business to utilize funds from their Singapore schools to assist the opening or running of GIF's schools elsewhere. Every GIF school must be self sufficient. If required for opening up new schools, GIF may arrange finance from other sources and recover the financing charges from the students who join these schools, not from the students of other schools which are running successfully.

Regarding whether GIF is a dubious charity, it is premature to make this conclusion. At present, there's no conclusive evidence to prove this.

busfee said...

mr india. where r u from ? do u support bus fee hike also ?
we customers were misled by giis that bus is not run for profit. audited report shows they lied.

A 'charity' that lies is a dubious charity.

Let us respond to Mr.India calmly said...

Dissenting voices like Mr. India’s are welcome. But some of the arguments presented are baffling. He seems to suggest that all of accepted ‘low or poor quality’ when we settled down for the comparatively lower fee of GIIS (erstwhile ICS).Did you, gentlemen and ladies? We, as a couple, did not. We settled for GIIS (formerly BICS) because the management said that it stood for Bhavan’s values. It was strengthened by a few 80+ people who came and lectured to us whenever there was an occasion. No, we were not told that ‘we are charging you lesser fee than OFS, UWC and ISS so we will give you lesser quality’. Why compare these schools whose curriculum, except at IB Diploma level, is different? Let us compare GIIS (earlier known as BIIS) with the top 300 Independent CBSE schools in India. Do a research on the results, number of students per class, permanence of teachers, quality of teaching and correction, cost of books and notebooks and revert. OK, Singapore is not India. Compare GIIS (which was also for a brief while known as Bhavan’s GIIS) with independent CBSE schools outside India on the same parameters. Let us do/determine what is technically called as CBR or CBA, Cost Benefit Ratio or Cost Benefit Analysis. We will also keep in mind PPR (Price Parity Ratio) so that comparison is not seen as odious. No, we are not undermining or criticizing Mr. India. We are just offering another view point even as we thank him for raising this healthy debate. In the meanwhile, we would like GIIS and GIF (earlier known as GIEF) to show some maturity, openness, patience and transparence which we people are doing. Our complaint and grievance is that not even once, in fact, NEVER has the GIIS team its promise. Not even the simplest ones. Let us not list all that again but give just one example: A member of the parent group met Mr.KB with a set of issues on 16th ( that is what this blog says) and in response to the waiver of notice period, the response from KB was that ‘ the committee will decide and revert by 25th March’. Has he? Mr.RDR- will you please let us know whether the school has come back to you on this? In fact, strictly speaking, the response to the waiver should have been made public to all parents, not just RDR, right? Just think about it.

Mr. India said...

Appreciate if some knowledeable person could throw light on what "Non profit organization" actually means.

From some limited information I have, having non-profit organization statue does not mean that that organization cannot make profit at all. It can make profit to support its own development, however there may be restrictions as to how and to what extent profit can be made.

The most important difference (to my knowledge) between a non profit organization and a commercial organization is that in NPO, the profit cannot be distributed amongsts its owners/directors.

In that respect, what do parents expect from GIIS as a non profit organization? I do not think the definition of non-profit organization requires GIIS to provide services "at cost". So, simply if their balance sheet shows some profit, it may not necessarily be a grave wrong doing. Is this understanding correct?

Are we expecting GIIS to offer school bus services at exactly the same price as they are paying to T&G? Is it right to expect this?

Anonymous said...

mr. India: wah ! GIIS/GIF should hire you, if they haven't already... your arguments are slightly better than KB's.

Mr. India said...

You are spot on! I salute your brilliant brain!

We are all writing under false names! Mr. India may be infact KB himself. For that matter some of the messages written "Anonymous" may well written by Nandakumar!

This is an open blog and can easily be infiltrated by parties having vested interests. So better don't waste time writing on it!

Anonymous said...

mr. india. in 2005 giis added a 20% mark up on bus fees (audited record).

on top of that they lied to us parents (including you, if you are really a parent) that there is no mark-up on the bus, that it is being managed by the school for convenience. parents can attest this.

And you say it is not "exactly the same price as they are paying to T&G" (your own words). It is 20% more. not exactly the same. and being projected as at cost. got it?

Taking 20 and saying it is 0 is a lie.

Let us not have any myths. The facts are in plain sight if you don't fudge them.

Anonymous said...

Haha mr india. i know for sure u are not KB but somebody else

Anonymous said...

whoever u r.. either u dont know real story or u believe everything mgmt says, gullible indian..hai hai

Anonymous said...

probably Mr.India's childrens fees are paid by his company where he works. For him this fee hike is not a concern as the saying goes for in India "Company ka maal LKB".....If Mr.India pays from his own pocket he would have made hellu noise against GIIS as most of us are doing here.

rahim said...

To Mr. India : Pls read FeeHike-101 under the title "it is not enough to pay and pay".
If QT school made x$ profits, it should go into an endowment for the 'school' itself and to no other - individuals or charities. This is the demand of all parents.

Indian-curriculum edu in Sing is a case of demand outstripping supply.
Yes, we need regulations, to "save capitalism from the capitalists".

Mr. India said...

I have made it clear before and I make it clear now again that I do not support any fee hike which cannot be justified or which is out of proportion with the external changes that may influence the fee hike.

If in the worst case, the fight goes to CASE or even worse, to the court, then the arguments presented in this forum are not enough to nail the GIIS management down. At best, these will stir shit and show the GIIS management in poor light, but they will still manage to escape and the fee hike will stay.

What do we want is a fee hike limited to what can be logically justified. Firing bullets in all direction, raising issues related to GIIS's accounts may embarrass AT & co., at best, it may indicate that GIIS management is not making proper use of their money, but all this will not be enough to make them roll back the fee hike. Management of the accounts is a separate issue and if the guys have blown off the money for wrong reasons, they deserve to be punished. But again that is a separate issue, that will not justify rolling back the fee hike.

To find out what can be a reasonable fee hike, we need to know how does the students fee get broken down to pay for the school expenses and what remains. For example, if the fee is $100, say $20 goes for the school rent; $40 goes for staff salaries; S20 goes for maintenance; $10 goes towards functions like annual day etc. If we can get such a breakdown in reasonable detail, it will be possible to analyse how has each of the component been affected by the changes in the economy. For eg. if the school rent has gone up by 40%, then the rent component of the fee can go up by that percentage. If the salaries have gone up by 5%, then the salary component can go up by that amount.

It will help if GIIS management can be made to give such a breakdown?

Ofcourse, if parts of the fee are used for GIF's expansion outside Singapore or for donations, then these are valid reasons to raise objection. Funds generated by the Singapore schools should not be used elsewhere. If GIF wants to set up other schools, they can raise finance separately and make the students at those schools pay the financing charges.

bappi said...

Dear friends,

We should all be asking key questions:
Why is GIIS/GIF withholding information about costs and revenue, from parents ?
(And don't ask instead, why should they release it because XYZ does not release it etc. If that is your position, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution).

Why do they squeeze out T&G, the teachers AND the parents ? What is common to all this ? Is it a charitable disposition ?

Read the Bhavan's letter to get the rest of the answer!

busfee said...

The breakup is already there:

In 2006 (QT data): Out of $100 in bus fees, about $60 goes to T&G and $40 is profit.

In 2005 (QT data): Out of $100 in bus fees, $83 went to T&G and $17 was profit.

Mr. India said...

Here is a comparison of GIIS's school fees with 2 other international schools in Singapore (for primary classes)

Australian International School: S$ 1757 p.m
ICS International: S$ 1457 p.m.
GIIS: S$ 500 p.m.

The above 2 are top class international schools but as you can see, top class facilities come with a price! These schools charge as much as 3 times the fees charged by GIIS.

GIIS is equivalent to a "Budget" international schools, equivalent to a budget airlines. We cannot expect Krisflyer entertainment in AirAsia! Can we? If you still do, be ready to pay the price!

IncrAnon said...

Dear Mr. (Incredible) India !
Take your comparison with the other schools a step further - in terms of 'percentages'. What % of the fee goes towards the teacher's salaries, educational materials and infrastructure. What you have revealed, in terms of the pm fees of various schools, is suggestive, but what you conceal, is vital.

Last, pls tell us what %age of their revenue do these schools 'donate' to a hang-on charity or their 'sister' schools in HK or Shanghai ?

NKF offered 'budget' dialysis. Their claim that other hospitals charged a lot more for their 'premium' service did not hold water.

parent said...

It will only cause more confusion to parents if they compare GIIS with high flying international schools which has more resources. Let us be fair in that sense.

Be fair and check out with CBSE schools in India. How much deposits they ask for ? How do they treat the parents ? When CBSE education is brought into Singapore obviously it cannot be given at the same cost.

Even to compare with DPS is not fair as theirs is ICSE.

I think parents who are confused about these things should asap contact the school directly. They are clarifiying all queries of parents.

shree 420 said...

Mr India: so you want to pay 20% more to fly in the same budget ?

No problem. Just donate your extra directly to GIF.

Mr. India said...

Shree 420,

If the budget airlines refuses to waive its 20% mark up, are you willing to cancel the budget airlines ticket and buy a premium airlines ticket when both the airlines take you to the same destination?

Global Indian said...

This is definitely getting funny.Schooling and education can't be compared to taxi, bus,train and airfares.Very soon we will have Carrefour Vs Seven Eleven, Litte India Vs Orchard. Guys, we are talking about our children who seem to be getting a raw deal from a set of unprincipled people. If all of us ( Mr.India included) can make the school answer at least 10% of the questions raised here,it would reflect a ' responsive ' system.

shanka said...

Talking of budget travel, we are paying for premium school-bus transport, but our kids get budget service - sometimes sit on plastic stools, on each other's laps & no sfty belt also mah. sometimes no stewardess also ;-)

laxmi said...

Mr India, don't be sure that your child will be taken 'to the same destination' as any other airline, or even by the budget airline after paying 25% more. Your airline analogy has broken down completely if you take that into account.

With schooling, you will know where you have reached, only by the end of the journey. And by then if you would have paid and paid, but got no education, nobody can help you as the time of your child's youth is gone, spent.

Any number of flawed analogies do not cover up the fact that you are being taken for a ride and that you are in a state of denial. You are the quintessential willing accomplice cum victim.

Let us stop all these childish analogies and arguments and do what needs to be done, as responsible mothers and fathers.

probe said...

I have read the whole blog, it is very revealing.
At first in a very old post dating from November 2007 on Balestier Campus (or click on my name)
a writer said:

"3. We are worried about further quality drop in existing (QT/EC) campus as a result of the 3rd campus.

4. Re: rumours that fee collection from GIIS QT and EC are diverted out to fund the new campus. Principals of QT and EC, kindly clarify on this. Parents desire that at least 90% of what they are paying will go towards their own child's campus. QT and EC Principals should give us assurances on this matter.

5. There should be no cost escalation due to 3rd campus."

Sadly what is said in (4) has been proven to be not just rumour but a documented fact. Why are questions only fired at AT and KB ? Are the principals immune from it ? We entrust the fees with the Principals, not with AT or KB. If the schools misused the funds, the first level of responsibility is the Principals. If they were competent such a thing would not have happened.

Why is everyone attacking AT and KB instead ? Principal is the one legally answerable at the very first level.

Anonymous said...

Schools cannot hike fees without PTA Consent...


Parents across the city can heave a sigh of relief as the Education department has made it clear in an order on Thursday evening, that fee hikes at schools cannot be imposed without taking parents into confidence. The order came after upset parents of Vibgyor High School at Goregaon (W) protested against the recent hike and approached the department.

The order was issued by the Deputy Director of Education, Sheela Tiwari, asking the school to have a meeting with parents and take them into confidence before implementing the hike. “We have written a letter dated March 13, 2008 advising you to take steps as per the guidelines given in the Government Resolution - Government of Maharashtra - May 27, 2003 and take the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) into confidence,” states the order.

“You are adviced to have a dialogue with them before taking any steps with regards to the implementation of your circular dated March 19,” states the order further.

What had happened

The highest raise in fees among city schools was imposed by Vibgyor High School. It announced an average increase of Rs 35,000.

It passed a circular raising the fee for the current academic year on March 19, to become effective from April 1 this year. Immediately after this, the parents of Vibgyor High formed an Action Committee to resist the management’s decision.

“Suddenly the fee I pay for my daughter has gone up by 40,000. The fee at other schools is far less and also matched by high quality of education and other facilities. This school is no comparison to them and yet this fee hike.” said Dr Avisha Kulkarni, a parent.

Prashant Basrur, another parent said, “The school gets close Rs 12 crore annually while its expenses do not exceed Rs 6 crore. The teachers’ salaries are far less than those of trainees at a call centre.’’

Sanjita Prasad, another parent said, “We were told that we can pull our children out if we don’t want to pay. But where will we get admission in other schools in the middle of the year?” Meanwhile, parents have filed a writ petition in the HC. The matter will come up for hearing on Friday at 11am.

The school trustee Rustom Kearawalla, says, “I am not aware of any order if there is one. I have not been informed of it. How can there be an order when the matter is sub-judice in the HC?”

Anonymous said...

Freeze on Govt Fees extended till end 2008

SINGAPORE: Wrapping up a two-and-a-half day Budget debate on Wednesday, Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said this year's Budget is one that has its sights set firmly on longer term growth and building social resilience, while giving out immediate short-term benefits.

He also announced that the one-year freeze on government fees, which kicked in last July, will be extended till the end of 2008.

This will include fees charged on all government-provided services such as school fees, ITE and polytechnic fees, charges in public car parks, and all licence fees.

However, regulatory charges such as those in the transport sector and the development charges in the property market will not be frozen because they must continue to serve the purpose of regulating demand.

The one-year freeze was implemented when the GST rate was raised from 5 to 7 percent last year.

Over the past few days, MPs have asked if the GST hike was too much, too soon, bearing in mind that in the end, the government had ended up with a S$6.4 billion surplus.

Stoutly defending the move, Mr Tharman said the hike did not contribute to the surplus and it was still needed not just for social expenditure, but also for infrastructural investments.

In fact, he said the S$1.4 billion collection from the additional 2 percentage points was equal to the GST offsets and Workfare Income Supplement paid out in FY 2007 alone.

He said: "The last thing we should do is to wait until there is an economic downturn, households are facing financial difficulties, and the government faces declining revenues before we raise the GST because then, we would be unable to provide a full offset to Singaporeans."

He added that there is also no guarantee that surpluses

Anonymous said...

By posting the Mumbai mirror item you are again comparing unfairly with India fee hike and India PTA system which is not relevant in Singapore. Singapore is a free economy and as a foreign system school GIIS is allowed to set fees at any amount that market is willing to pay for viable operation. No law says how much reasonable fee hike can be applied and no law says it cannot be applied mid-term or end-term or whatever and no lawy says PTA should be there. It is a private contract between parent and education provider. When you sign up you already know that this is not a PTA system school. There is feedback process in place and over and above that there is a PSG in place. PSG can explain it to you so feel free to contact them. Any parent who is dissatisfied is allowed to withdraw with notice period. Refundable deposit will be forfeited naturaly according to contract. If you have financial difficulty you can approach school and it may be considered case by case. As last option you have Mr Kabra's DPS which is offering deposit waiver with conditions attached. So many options are given to parents to address their concern.

bus fee, compared with AIS said...

About Australian International:
The bus is run by one William Yeap Transport Service and assisted by the school. You pay DIRECTLY to William Yeap bus company (the school is not out to make profit on the bus, unlike Global Indian).

The bus fees are reasonable and tiered by zone. For 8 to 10km zone the 2-way bus fare is only S$ 370 (plus GST) per term.

You can verify all this at AIS school bus website (under www.ais.com.sg).

busfee, go to CASE said...

Mr India ignores the issue of bus fees because that is where Gullible Indians school is profiteering the most.

GIIS should not be allowed to filch from the transport money. It is affecting both parents and T&G resulting in poor service, T&G having run 2 trips with the same bus etc. Look all the transport problems reported.

Anonymous said...

Friends, time is closing in. The school has not responded.Two months from now, we will be stuck with no place to go. What is the plan?

Anonymous said...

Sad. Question is, who will bell the cat?

Anonymous said...

I have researched and found that Singapore schools offer real value for money and BTW few schools also offer Hindi so why do i spend S$10,000 per year when i can do this in s$100. The money invested every year will be used for future higher education where you spend a fortune.