Private Schools Fleece Parents
Hyderabad: In just two weeks schools will be reopened. This fact is worrying parents who want to admit their children in ‘good’ private schools. The supervision of the government is almost nil regarding fee structures. The fee structure in private schools is one of the most serious issues that government needs to tackle.
There had been representations, protests from the parents earlier. Then, the government formed a committee which submitted its recommendations, but they were of no use. Guidelines were issued by Deputy CM and Education Minister Kadiyam Srihari regarding the fee structure but in vain.
Many schools opened admissions for the next academic year, and the fee being charged is giving a rude shock to the parents. Even ordinary schools hiked the fee. And the case of most prestigious international schools which claim to offer international standards in education is totally different. These schools, which offer A.C. classrooms and buses to children, collect the fee in lakhs. This is beyond the reach of any middle-class family.
As the fee hiked by private and corporate schools is between 20-200 percent, parents are up against the schools. They are in a complaining mode about schools that are charging a huge fee. Already a case has been booked against Narayana Techno School in the city on the complaint filed by an activist. Many complaints were pending against four schools. The Hyderabad Schools Parents’ Association (HSPA) filed them. Incidentally, Narayana Techno School belongs to P Narayana, Minister in Andhra Pradesh Cabinet.
The GOMS 91 has put restrictions on various fee collected by schools. It says that application fee cannot exceed ₹ 100, registration fee maximum ₹ 500 and admission fee cannot exceed ₹ 5000. But, no school gives a damn about what government says. Despite the guidelines issued by the education minister, schools are fearlessly collecting an excessive fee.
Though the parents submitted printed proofs while filing complaints and even approached courts, nothing concrete happened regarding the fee. Some prestigious schools are owned by politicians and businessmen.
Some of the smart managements of private schools started teaching for the next academic year in April itself. Much before holidays were declared and made parents pay the fee for the coming year.
In fact, the government issued orders that private schools must reserve 25 percent seats for children of economically backward classes as part of Right to Education, but, no corporate or private school seem to have taken it seriously.
As long as standards of education in government schools remain poor, the private schools thrive, exploiting the weakness of parents who are bothered about quality education. Though these schools really don’t meet the expectations, the hype created by them only helps to trap the parents.