A few years ago I was in a small city of India and was at a party. The table where I was sitting were three men discussing something which I could not understand at all.

‘I moved from a 1:7 to 1:3’ said the first person. Oh that is really good “I am not happy with the 1:9 for my kids seriously thinking of moving…

Well they were talking of schools that their kids went to in Switzerland. These nos. which you see is the student: teacher ratio that they were talking about. Obviously these were rich men who were spending..hold your breath …about $ 12o,ooo per year. This is not a small sum of money by any stretch of imagination. The amount included stay, boarding, lodging, fees, perhaps a vacation to other parts of Europe.

Today the middle class in India must be ready to see nice schools with 1: 20 teacher: student ratio. A lot of private schools could be set up charging fees in the region of Rs. 8000 a month – and people will be willing to pay fees. However such schools cannot be set up anywhere in the country – the places which can afford them have no land available for a school (all Metros – Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, – are perhaps the worst) …sad situation.

My daughter goes to a school in New Mumbai. When we put her in, there was very sweet marketing. We were told there are 48 students in the class and 2 teachers to look after them. That was nice….Alas! 5 years later there are 53 students and one teacher. The Loo is rarely kept clean – not sure how the senior class girls handle it. The fees is about 40k a year – this is not really cheap is it? One person to keep the loo clean is not too much to ask is there?

Teachers absenteeism is quite high – and teachers are poorly paid! So when 2 kids fight the teacher says ‘solve your own problems’. 2 boys fought and one of them almost ended up in hospital :).

It is a big branded school with units all over the world…genuine businessmen willing to bring branded education should wake up to a good business opportunity. Currently there seems to be no attempt by good people. For those of you who remember…there was a listed school called ‘Sanathana Dharma Gurukulam’ in Chennai about 15-20 years back..what happened?

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  1. Canara Bank has a claim on Sanatana Dharma Gurukulam and due to non-payment of loans, the Bank was selling the property through Debt Recovery Tribunal. Last I heard, it was bought by Hiranandani builers (yes, the same builders from Mumbai). Their school was called Triveni Academy and was pretty popular during their time (a decade ago?). The Company is defunct now (in fact by Year 2000 itself). Dont know about the school status. See link here: http://drt1chennai.tn.nic.in/CauseLists/300810.htm and search for Sanatana.

    Probably, the idea was ahead of time. Or the execution was poor. Dont know.

  2. there is no attempt by “good” businessmen to enter since they are discouraged.only cronies of politicies (samaj sevaks) and the odd sadhu mahatma run schools are allowed to exist along with govt hellholes.there is no competition and therefore bad service(to parents and kids) will continue unhindered. RTE will only perpetuate this misery and strengthen the hands of teachers unions and fraudulent samajsevaks .

  3. Dr Mohammed Ali Khan

    Subra
    What are you talking?
    India is a Socialist paradise.. Dint you know?

    Schools run as businessess.. Lenin forbid.. Education is a sacred RIGHT of every Indian child.. It is a non-profit charitable activity..

    Profit is a bad word.. The intellectual guru of all Indian intellectuals and politicians .. Marx HIMself said it so.. So how can you expect people to profit from a sacred activity like education…

    Subra.. Wake up to reality.. We are living in a socialist paradise..
    A dirty things like dirty loos must be the handiwork of American imperialists out to sully the good name of Socialist India.. Its they you should target …

  4. NPR – thanks for the update. I thought Kanchi Kamakothi Peetham was interested..not sure what happened.

    DAV, DPS, Podar, and many christian missionaries do run private schools and make a lot of money. I wish it was in a listed company and I could participate that is all :). Of course it is dirty – South Indian Education Society in Mumbai used to be run very well (or so we thought). However recently (less than 18 months ago) there was an Income tax raid…and lots of ‘cash’ was found. Inside the premises they have a temple L O L. How the raid happened is also a great story…will save it for later ha ha. So it is difficult to ‘respect’ the noble profession – but I do not mind buying shares of a profitable school. MBA schools are no longer profitable – with the financial services industry downsizing like mad 🙂

  5. Dr Mohammed Ali Khan

    Subra
    Of course they make a lot of money..But behind the scenes..
    Because Officially, Schools are supposed to be charitable organizations and not businessess..
    This is the crux of the tragedy that is education in India.. Schools BEHAVE like businessess but ACT as if they are charitable institutions… Why dont they ACT as well behave as businessess.. Because the Government regulations say so..

    Education is a commodity much much in demand and very very less in supply.. Supply is restricted because of too many regulations..
    Try starting a school without offering any bribes and following ALL the regulations and see how expensive it is.. ..
    Because of this artificial restriction in supply the established schools can give very poor education and collect more fees than they deserve.

  6. HI SUBRA,\
    Did you know that The Tamil Nadu Government set a cap on the fees to be collected by matriculation schools in the state there were wide spread protests all over the state with some schools demanding a revision and parents protesting.

  7. Dr Mohammed Ali Khan f

    @ Vani
    This is one of the most counter-productive order passed by any Government.. Its nothing but price fixing..There is one moral maxim of human interactions which I wish the Socialism infected intellegentia and political class of India knew..
    It is ” ONLY THE PRODUCER OF A PRODUCT HAS THE RIGHT TO FIX THE PRICE OF THE PRODUCT “.. No one else, neither the Government nor the buyer has this right..

    For example, If I am a carpenter producing a chair, only I have the right to fix the price of the product..i.e.. chair, which arose out of My investment, My labour and MY skill as a carpenter.. I can ask Rs 5000 or Rs 50,000 or Rs 5,00,000 for this chair.. To buy or not to buy is the buyer’s discretion.. The Governmnet has no right to enter and say, “Making chairs is a sacred duty, Chair is an essential national commodity, so, you should sell this chair for Rs 3000.. ”
    If the Government does that, I WILL NOT CONTINUE TO PRODUCE… This will be the effect of ANY price fixing..

    If the matriculation schools have any sense of ethics, they should say to the Government, ” We cannot run scools at the price that your bureaucrats set.. We will close shop”
    They should say to the parents, ” If you do not like our price , take your kids to a Government school.. Its FREE there ”

    If the private schools have any sense of morality, they should do that..

  8. Subra,

    Are you referring to NHPS / Eurokids. Is it that bad? I know they are charging 40-50k in nursery itself, wonder what facilities they provide in kindergarten.

    Rakesh

  9. Producer fixing the price is not true in all fields. Take example of Agriculture. Its the buyer who fixes the price for agricultural products.

  10. Dr Mohammed Ali Khan

    @ Siva
    Im not saying that it is happening..

    What I am saying is that only the producer has the MORAL RIGHT to fix the price of the product..

    About agriculture.. This price fixing by the buyers and the Government is one of the reasons for the miserable state in which farmers exist today.. This is the reason for farmer suicides and farmer destitution.. This is the reason for gross underinvestment in agriculture in India today..

    ONLY THE FARMER AS A PRODUCER OF RICE HAS THE MORAL RIGHT TO FIX THE PRICE OF RICE

  11. Which ‘farmer’ we had to take for reference. The farmer who want to sell his output as if the crop comes out without waiting for proper price to come or the farmer who purchases the crop (u may call him ‘dalari’ but he is also an farmer) from other farmer at low price., stock it & sells it when he gets the right price. (The crop will come to market at one time so due to over supply sometimes the price depletes but the farmer mentioned at first want to sell his crop at the prevailing market price)

  12. commonman,

    there is no “proper price”. the first farmer is selling his output to the dalal at the price he is comfortable.if he isnt comfortable,he should sell elsewhere. if he isnt getting what he wants,perhaps he misread the demand and grew something nobody wanted that much.

    the dalal himself takes on the risk of selling at a higher price to someone who is willing to buy at that price.so he is getting compensated for the risk he takes.
    this is the theory. in practice,the govt pays min support prices and dalals do browbeat the farmer to sell his produce to him alone. this is simply a law and order issue .price fixing doesnt solve anything.it distorts the pricing mechanism

  13. Dr Mohammed Ali Khan

    To all Marxists who complain that its the middleman or ” dalaari ” is making a killing by buying at very low prices from the farmer and selling at very high prices to the customer, and is the main cause for inflation I have 2 simple suggestions…

    1. Take a car or a van.. Go to a farmer and buy rice directly from him..

    2. Become a dalaari yourself.. You can become rich overnight by making obscene profits ( according to the marxists )

  14. Dr Mohammed Ali Khan

    @ Pravin

    This is where the futures market in agricultural commodities work..
    If I’m a farmer I can lock in prices 6 month hence and then start planting my crops.. Ill be sure of getting X rupees per kilo of rice.. If rice sells more its only an opportunity cost for me, but I’m protected against a fall in prices…

    But God, Sorry, Lenin forbid, the futures markets are actually accused of causing inflation by the Marxists.
    ( Forget about the 6th pay commission which substantially increased the pay for central govt. babus and thus increased the money supply, forget about paper money being printed out according to the whims and fancy of the Reserve bank ( Fiat money that is not backed by anything ).. These things did not cause inflation.. Its the futures market that cause inflation )

  15. @Dr.Khan
    According to my knowledge commodity trading in rice & wheat is banned in India & as it is commodity (rice) even the producer (farmer) cant fix it. It depends on market (demand & supply) & no body is cheating a farmer.

  16. Dr Mohammed Ali Khan

    @Commonman
    Of course he can fix it.. He can refuse to sell or sign a futures contract at lower prices, Cant he not?

    For your information the following products are being traded in NCDEX
    http://www.ncdex.com

    Rubber
    Pepper
    Turmeric
    Jeera
    Chilli
    Coriander
    Pulses
    Chana
    Yellow peas
    Fibres
    Indian 28.5 mm cottonV-797 kapas
    Cereals
    Wheat
    Barley
    Maize (Yellow/Red)Maize – Feed /Industrial Grade
    Oil and Oil seeds
    Castor
    seedsCotton
    seed oilcake
    Soy bean
    Refined soy oil
    Soybean meal (Export)
    Mustard Seed
    Kachhi Ghani
    Mustard Oil
    Crude Palm Oil
    RBD Palmolein
    Guar Seeds
    Guar Gum
    Gur
    Potato
    Sugar M and S
    Almond
    Mentha Oil

  17. Hi Subra,

    You may want to cover the raid story as mentioned in the text below.

    Regards
    Aditya
    “NPR – thanks for the update. I thought Kanchi Kamakothi Peetham was interested..not sure what happened.
    DAV, DPS, Podar, and many christian missionaries do run private schools and make a lot of money. I wish it was in a listed company and I could participate that is all . Of course it is dirty – South Indian Education Society in Mumbai used to be run very well (or so we thought). However recently (less than 18 months ago) there was an Income tax raid…and lots of ‘cash’ was found. Inside the premises they have a temple L O L. How the raid happened is also a great story…will save it for later ha ha. So it is difficult to ‘respect’ the noble profession – but I do not mind buying shares of a profitable school. MBA schools are no longer profitable – with the financial services industry downsizing like mad “

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