April 19, 2014 00:00 By Supinda na Mahachai
Ceiling on tuition rates lifted to account for 'soaring inflation'
Parents will have to fork out Bt1,000 to Bt2,000 more for their children’s education at private schools in the upcoming academic year. The increase is in response to a decision by the Private Education Commission to raise schools’ tuition ceiling for the first time in 10 years.
“The new rates will take effect at more than 3,000 private schools from the 2014 academic year onward,” Office of Private Education Commission secretary general Bundit Sriputtangul said yesterday.
He spoke after emerging from a commission meeting chaired by caretaker Education Minister Chaturon Chaisang.
“The hike is necessary in the face of soaring inflation and the government policy to give at least Bt15,000 monthly salary to bachelor’s degree holders,” Bundit said.
The new maximum tuition rates at private schools are: Bt14,900 for pre-primary and primary levels; Bt17,780 for secondary level; and from Bt19,910 to Bt29,970 for vocational education that is equivalent to senior secondary education level.
They are calculated based on the research by the Office of the Education Council, which was announced in 2010.
While tuition is completely free at state schools, private schools charge parents some money as government subsidies cover just 70 per cent of the aforementioned rates.
Before the hike, the ceilings were Bt13,260 for pre-primary level; Bt12,960 for primary level; Bt15,652 for junior secondary level; Bt15,952 for senior secondary level, and Bt16,222 and Bt22,000 for vocational education that is equivalent to senior secondary education level.
Bundit said parents usually paid Bt3,000 a year to private schools if their children were in pre-primary or primary education levels, and Bt2,000 a year if their children were in the secondary education level.
“With the hikes, they only need to pay just between Bt1,000 and Bt2,000 more,” he said.
Private schools would be required to clearly list education charges they will collect ahead of the new semester.
“This way, parents can decide whether they should send their children to private schools,” Bundit said.
He said civil servants could also get partial reimbursement for their children’s tuition fees.
“With the increased ceiling of tuition fees, the reimbursement ceiling will also go up by Bt400,” Bundit pointed out.
The Office of the Educational Council had also been assigned to estimate the new maximum rate for tuition as relevant authorities hope to come up with an amount that best reflects current circumstances.
“This means if the council releases the new rates, the tuition ceilings at private schools may go up again,” Bundit said.