Parents in Delhi, India are paying as much as three times more for education than parents did in 2008, a National Sample Survey Office survey reveals. The government survey points out that across the nation, education spending has doubled, while in Delhi, parents have seen their education costs triple in just seven years.
Quartz reports that parents with children in general education have to pay 175% more than their 2008 counterparts. Nearly 50% of education spend goes to course fees, while books hold the second place with average spending in both rural and urban areas at around 22%.
The survey also reveals the rise of private tutoring, with 15% of the total cost of general education being channeled to private lessons. One in four students are reported to be taking private tuition classes. This should come as no surprise, Quartz insists, given that state-provided education proves to be insufficient with 32.5% of Class 2 students across India being unable to tell one alphabet letter from the other, as the Annual Status of Education Report reveals.
In 2014, average education costs were Rs 6,788 for general education, Rs 62,841 for technical and professional education, and Rs 27,676 for vocational training. Seven years earlier, the education cost was Rs 2,461, Rs 32,112 and Rs 14,881, respectively.
Previously, an Assocham survey found that more than six in ten parents spend over 50% of their family budget on education. A Delhi government official said about the skyrocketing cost of education:
"I believe school fees in Delhi are comparable with those in cities such as Mumbai and Bangalore."
Apart from Delhi, education fees in Goa, Haryana, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh also saw an increase over the last seven years, the NSSO survey reveals.
Parents with children in private education paid eleven times more than parents with students attending government-run schools. As far as higher education cost is concerned, students at government-run institutions pay about a third of those studying at private institutions.
The report says the growth of private education is partly due to it being a higher-quality alternative to government schooling. As the Hindustan Times report, HRD ministry data for 2014 show an increase in private school enrollment while government school enrollment stood still.
The data showed that 20% of girls complete higher education as opposed to 50% of boys. The difference in education spending in urban and rural areas of India is no longer as prominent, the survey also revealed.
The lack of fee regulations is to blame for the unruly rise of private schooling fees, activists say. Schools insist that given how competitive quality education is in India, the education fee hike is inevitable.