MINE ÖZDEMİR GÜNELİ- For the 2023-2024 academic year of private schools, parents are charged tuition fees under the name of early registration. percentage Claims that he demanded a raise of up to 150 were the subject of discussion. There were similar discussions about wages for the 2022-2023 academic year, and the ceiling was limited to 36 percent for the increase.
The ceiling figure for the increase rate of private schools for the new academic year has not been determined yet. There has been an increase in complaints that some private schools, whose expenses have increased in many items in the face of the increase in inflation, took advantage of this situation and started to register early, saying that ‘the fees will increase a lot’ and putting pressure on parents to register as soon as possible. However, according to the Law on Private Education Institutions numbered 5580, schools can announce their tuition fees in May at the latest, starting from January each year. Zafer Öztürk, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Private Schools Association of Turkey (TÖZOK), whose opinion we received on the subject, pointed out that it is not legal for private schools to register early in December, and noted that the rate of increase is determined by law, and it is not possible to determine any rate other than these rates. Öztürk’s answers to our questions on the subject are as follows:
‘There was a serious problem’
*There are complaints from parents that private schools receive early registration and make exorbitant increases in fees. Can we get your views on this?
According to the law, private schools announce tuition and other fees in May at the latest, starting from January. Early registration is currently illegal. Last year, 36 percent restriction came, even then inflation was around 100 percent. ‘You will not raise,’ was said. We couldn’t. The rate of increase in wages is specified by law. It is not possible to determine any other ratio. In Article 55 of the Law, it is written that “The average rate of the previous year (Y.İ-PPI + CPI)/2 is increased by a maximum of 5 percent”. Whatever the rate will correspond to in January this year, it will be like this. Talking about a raise without announcing the rate is reading an intention. This article was also in order to protect the parents who were in the middle classes during the periods when there was no inflation. Of course, there may be some decisions to protect the parent and the consumer. But not protecting the rights of the other side while protecting one side causes other kinds of losses.
*In addition to the tuition fees of the schools, clothing, food, etc. It is said that he made exorbitant increases in expenses such as to close the gap. Is this possible?
In our regulation, the school tuition fee is separate, foodFees, such as clothing, are disclosed separately. Fees are optional, except for tuition. If it is stated in the school rules and contract, the parent accepts it in advance. If the school does this without specifying, it is not the right approach. At that time, the parent is obliged to take it to the consumer arbitration committee or to the relevant places.
*There are also complaints from private school teachers that their salaries are at or slightly above the minimum wage. Have you received any complaints?
Our members are well-established Turkish and foreign schools. amount of minimum wage wage We don’t have a field teacher. But we have heard that institutions that are in a very difficult situation are illegally employing teachers for minimum wages. And we are against it. But it is not possible for these institutions to sustain their lives anyway. Electricity and water cost approached 300 percent. The raise is also low. But no school should and cannot give a 300 percent raise to its parents. The school should also observe the rights and laws of its parents. In this process, parents will put their hands on their conscience and act rationally. This figure should be a reasonable rate.
Schools are worse than the pandemic
*How has this year been for private schools?
It’s been very difficult. Unfortunately, we have many institutions facing closure. While there were 1 million 750 thousand private school students before the pandemic, the number has dropped to 1 million 400 thousand today. While we have around 170,000 teachers, today the number is around 150 thousand. We don’t know how it will be next year. We have heard that many schools are in distress. Now you impose a 36 percent restriction on schools, but you have to give your teacher a 140 percent raise. On the one hand, you say, “No, you can’t get it from the parents”. This is not a very correct approach. The stamina of schools is also up to a point.