Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court, on 11 March, set a deadline of 8 April 2020 for the state government to come out with a comprehensive policy on school fee regulation. For members of the Hyderabad School Parents Association (HSPA), the struggle that began many years ago finally seems to be reaching a conclusion.
The Division Bench of the Telangana High Court comprising Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice A. Abhishek Reddy on Wednesday heard the batch of cases related to school fee regulation filed by HSPA.
HSPA members were eagerly awaiting the recommendations of Professor Tirupathi Rao Committee. However, they were disappointed when the court was informed that the government was yet to formulate its firm opinion on the recommendations of the committee. The advocate general, appearing for the government, sought eight weeks to submit the report.
However, the court has set a deadline of 8 April for the government, keeping in mind the fact that the next academic year is around the corner and that many schools have already started collecting fees for the next academic year.
The court has not only asked the state to submit the action taken report on recommendations of the committee but also asked the government to come up with a comprehensive policy to regulate school fees irrespective of the government accepting or rejecting the Prof. Tirupathi Rao committee's recommendations.
The HC will hear the matter again on 9 April. The court expressed a desire to conclude the matter before the end of April after putting in place an effective mechanism for school fee regulation.
Kadapa Venkat, a member of HSPA, said, "HSPA is pleased with the proceedings in the court today and would like to thank the High Court for setting a clear deadline for the formulation of a comprehensive policy on school fee regulation by the government. Today’s order of the High Court is a vindication of HSPA's struggle against illegal profiteering by the schools. HSPA hopes that the government will come up with strong and legally enforceable means of regulating fees and put an end to the looting being carried out in the name of school fees in several private schools."
The Telangana government had constituted a committee in March 2017 headed by ex vice-chancellor of Osmania University Prof. Tirupathi Rao to recommend means of regulating school fees. The committee was initially given a time of one month. However, it was inordinately delayed and the report was finally submitted in June 2018.