As many as 162 private schools in Telangana including 54 in Hyderabad, have been served fresh notices this year following an audit, seeking explanation for their fee structure.
“In Hyderabad alone, we have served notices to 54 such private schools for violating various norms, including fee hike. After we receive the fresh replies from the school, action will be taken accordingly,” G Ramesh, District Education Officer told The News Minute.
According to the Education department, the private schools have been making profit of 15% to 30% from the institution instead of 5%, violating rule 18(4)(a) in GO (Government Order) Ms No. 01.
“Other than that, the common violations were of not using a fixed percentage of the amount for maintenance of the school. Almost 30% of the schools did not submit their No Objection Certificates (NOC) from the Fire department as well as GHMC,” said one of the officials in the Education department.
While the schools were served notice last year as well, the department did not find their replies satisfactory. The fresh notices will be considered as the final warning to the schools, said the DEO.
In April 2016, the Hyderabad School Parents Association (HSPA) had filed a PIL in the High Court against the massive hike in school fees by the 162 private institutions.
A team from the Education department and auditors inspected these schools across Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts and issued fresh notices to the schools.
“We have checked the annual tuition fees of schools and how the fee amount was being spent on teachers’ salaries and other expenses. We found that the schools have been violating the norms,” said the DEO.
“These are the same schools we have filed a PIL against. We have demanded that the show cause notices issued to the 162 schools be made public, however, they are not complying. We got the information from a source in the Education department. The notices have been served in the month of March this year,” said Ashish Naredi of HSPA.
Ashish claimed that after the PIL was filed, the High Court directed the Education Department to inspect these schools.
“What is the use of these notices if the government has no intent to act against any of these schools. They should also make the details public, so that it can be discussed in the committee meetings. The schools have been making more than 50% to 70% profit on the fee collection, however, they are allowed to make not more than 5%. Almost 15% of the money from the fee collection should go toward the staff benefits, which they have reduced to 5%. We already know that the schools have been violating the norms. Now it has been proved but, so far no action has been taken against them,” rued Ashish.
He also says that nearly 30 high-profile international schools on the outskirts of the city are also included in the list of 162 schools.