Hyderabad: The Hyderabad Schools Parents Association (HSPA) has written to the ministry of human resource development claiming that the National Education Policy 2020 has no regulations in place to prevent schools from indiscriminately fixing the fees. Such apathy on the part of the government will leave the parents helpless, they claimed.
The Union Cabinet approved the new NEP on 29 July after a gap of 34 years. The NEP is meant to provide an overarching vision and comprehensive framework for both schools and higher education institutions across the country.
Venkat Sainath, the secretary of HSPA, said, “All schools have been increasing their fees exponentially over the years to an extent where it has become almost unsustainable for many parents. The situation today is such that the high cost of school education is being touted as the number one means of birth control and it’s no joke. According to a survey conducted by ASSOCHAM, couples are opting to have a single child because of the high education costs.”
The HSPA further requested the ministry to propose a mechanism to regulate school fees and fix an upper limit for private schools as has been proposed for higher education institutions.
The parents are happy about some of the provisions in the new NEP like the requirement for school management committees (SMC) and public disclosure of all information (PDAI). The SMC that looks at the financial statements of the schools and endorses them will now reserve a seat for the parents. Under the PDAI, parents will be able to make informed choices while admitting their wards to the schools. The schools will be required to furnish details like the fee structure, facilities, and learning outcomes under the provision.
Meanwhile, the National Education Policy 2020 has proposed to replace the current 10+2 structure of school education with a 5+3+3+4 structure and bring children from ages three to five years within the formal education system for the first time. The NEP has also proposed free breakfasts along with free lunches in government schools, vocational education along with internships from Class VI, and redesigning the board examinations.