In a major decision, the Telangana government directed the managements of all private schools in the state to maintain status-quo and not hike their fees for the academic year 2018-19.
The move brings much needed relief to parents, who have been demanding regulation of the fees in Hyderabad and Telangana.
The state took the decision after a report submitted by the Tirupati Rao Committee, and said that the order was applicable to schools following CBSE and ICSE as well.
“As the admissions as per the schedule started on January 2, 2018 and will be completed by January 12, 2018, the fee structure is an important aspect...Whatever fee is already in existence for the academic year 2017-18, will be continued for the academic year 2018-19 until further orders of the government,” the order stated.
“Necessary action will be taken against schools that do not follow the orders,” it added.
The order was signed by Ranjeev Acharya, special chief secretary to government, who had met the protesting parents on Wednesday.
Responding to the order in a statement, the Hyderabad School Parents Association (HSPA) called it a 'welcome step'.
"We had pointed this out to the government the danger that Schools would begin their Admissions with any amount of fee hike from 10% to 100% understanding fully well that the committee is not questioning the base fee but only percentage of the fee hike. The government had said that it was aware of the danger and would take necessary steps. We did not expect the government to take such a step so fast," the HSPA said.
They also thanked Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, Deputy CM and Education Minister Kadiyam Srihari, Ranjeev Acharya and the Commissioner for Education G Kishan for taking the step.
"However, we would also like to exercise a word of caution as this is a temporary stay. We can hope and pray that the government would come out with an equally stringent order when it releases its final order on the same. The final order, in fact, would be the most crucial as it would deal with every year's hike. If the final order is weak or lands up again in courts, we would be back to square one," the HSPA added.