Schools Or Five Star Hotels?

Times have definitely changed.

It's been a long 13 years since I completed my schooling. Frankly, I didn't expect the changes in schooling to be drastic.

When I was in school, my school hours ran between Half past Twelve in the afternoon till Quarter to Six in the evening. We had an early lunch at home, to rush to school and have a small thirty minute tiffin break at 3'o clock. The remaining time was spent studying.

Tiffin's were almost always bought from home itself. In an occasional  situation where you forgot the box at home or in the school bus, your friends would gladly share their food with you.

My school didn't have a canteen until I was in 8th standard. Even when it was introduced, it served only a limited set of food items, at very a economical price.

With this idea of a school  in mind, today's news article in the Hyderabad edition of The Times of India stunned me. This picture would say it all.

Here are some excerpts from the news article.
  • At some schools, students cannot get food from home.
  • Breakfast at one school costs Rs. 150 
  • Lunch at another school costs Rs. 300, sometimes even Rs. 400
  • Parents are spending Rs. 10000 per month as food expenses for children at school. This translates to Rs. 450 per day (considering 22 school days per month)
  • Add to this, such expenses are mandatory and a part of the fee structure. 
For me, this is an absolute horror. If this is the amount of money parents are spending on the children, for a maximum of 2 meals a day at school, I wonder what the other expenses would look like.

If you are working professional in India, you can think about the expenses for yourself if you have both the breakfast and the lunch at work. For almost all practical purposes, your expenses will not exceed Rs. 10000 per month.

What hurts further is the fact that the Planning Commission of India has said that earning Rs. 32 per day would make a person above the poverty line. Read more about The Planning Non Sense.

Rs. 32 Vs Rs. 450. My mind has stopped working. Read the entire news article here.

There was a time when the school fees were Rs. 150 per month. Some schools offered free classes to girl students. These schools are charging Rs. 10000 for School "Meal" Fees. I ponder where are we headed.

What do I say? Well, the schools just need to be practical. And focus more on schooling and other serious stuff.

Schools Or Five Star Hotels? Schools Or Five Star Hotels? Reviewed by Vyankatesh on Sunday, September 25, 2011 Rating: 5


  1. the rich and poor divide.. one cannot afford even to have 2 meals a day and the other one spending thousands just for 2 meals a day.

    Weakest LINK

  2. This clearly shows the poor n rich divide as well as the height of commercialization in education.

    Interesting read !!

  3. If this continues, a day will come when a middle class person will have to take loan to admit his child in school.

  4. no food from home?? lunch costs 300- 400?? for puliogare???
    huh! i will be on the road if my daughter was in such a school. first of all i wouldn't put her there for fear of bankruptcy!

    good post. didnt know such schools existed

    pls remove word verification for comments

  5. Oh my my!.. this is ridiculous.. 450 bucks a day ... I would suggest the kid does not go to school instead learn at home. That would be better. Paatshaala movie starring Shahid kapoor had similar instances where the school was robbing money from parents.. Daylight robbery.. I really wonder what's so special of the 150 rupees Toast with jam and fruit...

  6. That is atrocious!! What the F!!
    Has money lost it's value or people?

    People who want to flaunt their economical status would put children in such schools!

    Enlightening post!

  7. I hope they find time to "teach" the students after selling all these food items!

  8. NO neither .. nor a school and Neither a five star.. even five stars give you value for money..
    but schools these days only want the money and give back nothing ...

    teachers are busy selling tuitions or coaching classes .. schools have other way of making money

    SO bad bad situation


  9. This indeed is horrifying! Fancy not being allowed to bring food to school if one can't afford the horrendous prices at the canteen there!As you rightly pointed out schools these days apparently are hotels under the facade of a school!

  10. This is absolutely horrible.. I wonder if the government should intervene and put some restrictions for school canteens as well. Here in TN, there's a loong discussion from the govt on restricting fees collected by private schools...

  11. It's heartening to see that everyone concurs that this is indeed obnoxious.

    Hope the situation improves, and the kids and their parents are not fleeced.