Private schools have been told they must lower their tuition fees by 1.12 per cent for the 2016-2017 school year.
According to an announcement by the education ministry on Thursday, private schools and institutes have until March 31 to submit their tuition rates to the ministry so they can obtain the relevant approval required by law three months before the start of the new school year.
The yearly reduction or increase of the fees is calculated by the education and finance ministries each year and takes into account socio-economic data and the best interests of the children, the memo said. This year the calculations have resulted in a required decrease of 1.12 per cent.
Owners who don’t comply will be “guilty of an offence and if convicted, are liable to a fine not exceeding € 10,000 or to imprisonment up to twelve months; and the court may order the closure of the school or institute”, the ministry announcement said.
Any tuition increases planned by the private institutions need to be approved by the minister and be consistent with economic data, in particular the movement of wages and inflation.
In these cases and if the planned reduction in fees is less than 1.12 per cent, the schools should send a detailed documentation with evidence for their decision. This, the memo explained, will be studied by the relevant government employees before being submitted for approval to the minister.
In addition, each owner must inform parents about their long- and short-term plans for the school as these are often related to price increases for future years.
“In this way, all parents will know the estimated amount of fees for their children when they register them, and about any scheduled building or other upgrades which will incur additional costs to the owner,” the announcement said.