Hyderabad: Hyderabad School Parents Association (HSPA) has 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.
The HSPA said that the new proposals will legitimize the profiteering and privatization of school education.
On December 22, Telangana High Court had directed the state to formulate a policy for the regulation of school fees in private unaided schools in the state within six weeks. The state government was also directed to report to the court once the fee regulation policy is formulated. The Chief Justice expressed dismay over the delay by the government.
Guidelines by the state education department
In the meeting held by the state education department on March 2, certain guidelines were decided to regulate fees in private un-aided schools.
A school-level fee committee shall be the competent authority for regulation of fee structure in private unaided schools. This committee will consist of a chairperson who will be the representative of the management of private school nominated by the management, a secretary who will be the Principal of the private school, and members who will be three teachers nominated by the management of the private school, and five parents from Parent Teachers Association (PTA) consisting of two women, one minority 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 detailing 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 of the fee shall not be more than 10% of the fee levied 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 which will consist of a Retired High Court Judge to be nominated by the Government, Chairman Member Commissioner / Director, School Education, TS Hyderabad A person of eminence and repute in the field of education to be nominated by the government.
"These guidelines are just legalizing profiteering of private schools," said Venkat Sainath, president of Hyderabad School Parents Association (HSPA).
"They are just fooling the court, parents, by bringing out something in response to the court order," he added.
He also pointed out not many schools in Hyderabad have an active private Parent Teachers Association (PTA). Also, the five parents in the committee are nominated by the school. "Will the same parents dare to speak against the schools?" he asked.
Terming the guidelines an eyewash to the court order and completely bogus, a parent in the city said, "It's an utter waste. These guidelines give more freedom for the schools to continue profiteering under the guise of law."
, "The basic fee has not been regulated yet, it's only the hike that is regulated. Also, the parents on the committee, will they have the courage to speak?" he said.
He asked called for putting the Thirupathi Rao Committee report in the public domain.