Fix 3-year upper fee limit for private school: HSPA to T Edu

According to the decisions taken by the meeting of the state education department on 2 March, private schools can increase fees by 10% every year. The HSPA had argued that this is only going to legalize the profiteering by private schools. In their letter, HSPA said an upper limit fee should be fixed for each class also for three years.

By Nimisha S Pradeep  Published on  25 March 2022 3:58 AM GMT
Fix 3-year upper fee limit for private school: HSPA to T Edu

Hyderabad: Hyderabad School Parents Association (HSPA) on Thursday requested the Telangana Directorate of School Education (DSE) to fix an upper limit for private school fees for three years.

The association submitted a memorandum listing its recommendations about the private school fee issue.

According to the decisions taken by the meeting of the state education department on 2 March, private schools can increase fees by 10% every year. The HSPA had argued that this is only going to legalize the profiteering by private schools. In their letter, HSPA said an upper limit fee should be fixed for each class also for three years.

Another request made by the HSPA is regarding the categorization of schools. The association urged the government to categorize schools as A, B, and C based on the infrastructure, faculty, inflation, etc., and fix the fee accordingly.

The HSPA requested the government to consider a statutory backing for the state-level fee regulating committee, consisting of the Principal, representatives from the Management, and Parents, to decide the fees.

The HSPA urged the state to ensure schools should not insist the parents and children purchase books, uniforms, and other stationery from any particular shop or school. Also, they requested the state to prohibit schools from registering and prefixing `international', `global', `universal' with school names, etc. The Association said this would create a sense of inferiority and superiority complex between the school children and their parents.

Background

On 11 March, Telangana High Court had asked the Directorate of School Education to take into account the representations submitted by the association as well as the private schools and then send its report to the state government for final decision.

The court had granted two weeks from 11 March to 25 March. The court had also said that the entire procedure should be completed in three months.

Outcomes of the state education department meeting

On March 2, in the meeting held by the state education department, certain guidelines were issued to regulate fees in private and unaided schools.

Under new guidelines, a school-level fee committee shall be the competent authority for the regulation of fee structure in private unaided schools. This committee will consist of a chairperson, who will be the representative of private school, a secretary, who will be the Principal of the private school, three members, who will be teachers nominated by a private school, and five parents from the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) including two women, one minority member, and two others. The selection of parent members shall be transparent and they will enjoy a term of one year.

The management of the school will submit the detailed audited accounts and proposed fee structure. It would detail the components and basic fee structure at least three months before the commencement of a new academic year to the school-level fee committee for its approval.

The fees to be charged shall be classified as (a) Mandatory Fee - Admission Fees & Tuition Fee Transport facility, Boarding facility, Mess and (b) Optional Fee - dining facility, Excursion, and any other fee which is not a part of curricular activities. The details of the fees fixed shall be displayed by every private un-aided school on the school website. All fees will be collected through a cashless, digital mode of payment only.

The hike shall not be more than 10% of the fee charged in the previous year. The student (s), whose father or earning member dies during the study in an un-aided educational Institution, shall not be compelled to leave the institution on account of nonpayment of fee or funds. Such students shall not be charged any fee till the completion of their studies in that institution.

If the School Level Fee Committee fails to decide fee structure, the management shall immediately refer the matter to the State Level Fee Regulatory Committee consisting of a Retired High Court Judge to be nominated by the Government, Chairman Member Commissioner / Director, School Education. A person of eminence and repute in the field of education shall be nominated by the government.

However, the HSPA had expressed displeasure over the guidelines issued by the state education department to regulate fees in private unaided schools. The association members said that these guidelines will give a handle to private schools to fleece parents. They said that the new proposals will legitimize the profiteering and privatization of school education.

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