According to HSPA, nearly every two out of ten schools have hiked their fee by 30% in Hyderabad.

As govt turns blind eye to school fee hike Hyderabad parents group to launch new campaign
news School Fee Monday, May 15, 2017 - 15:08

At a time when Hyderabad School Parents’ Association (HSPA) has intensified their protests against the school fee hike by starting a postcard campaign, schools in Hyderabad have increased the school fee by 5% to 30%.

According to HSPA, nearly every two out of ten schools have hiked their fee by 30% in Hyderabad, and say that this is because the government of Telangana has failed to address the issue.

Speaking to The News Minute, Ashish Naredi from HSPA said, “This is very disappointing for all the parents in Hyderabad. We wrote 2000 postcards to the Chief Minister and penned down our woes but there has been no response. The government seems least interested in listening to our problems.”

Parents blame the delay on submission of a report by the committee constituted by the Telangana government, to consult and review the issue of school fee hike.

The committee, headed by Prof T Tirupati Rao, former vice-chancellor of Osmania University along with G Kishan, Commissioner and Director of School Education as the convener, has failed to submit the report on the constitution of the District Fee Regulation Committees (DFRCs), which was due on April 20.  

"Looks like the schools are taking the advantage of the lull period where Prof. Tirupati Rao's committee is still formulating a process of DFRC setup. This committee was supposed to submit its recommendations by April'17 but has sought further extension till mid-May and still we are waiting for the same. Once the recommendations are submitted to the Govt, we urge the Govt to formulate the DFRC w.e.f from this academic year (2017-18) only without any delay," said Pavan Kuman Reddy from HSPA.

Considering the lackadaisical attitude of the government, the school managements have become emboldened to hike the fee, he alleged.

CBSE contradicts its notification

In September 2016, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) had issued a circular asking every institution/school affiliated with the Board, to disclose all information including fee structure and put it in the public domain.

"As a step towards bringing transparency in facilities provided by the schools for information of the board, parents, students and other stakeholders, it has been decided to make the mandatory disclosure of information,” the circular said.

The circular also notified the schools to submit the report to the Board by October 31.

“However, it did not happen,” Ashish says.

In February, one of the members of HSPA filed an RTI seeking information on data compliance on the mandatory guidelines circular issued by CBSE.

The RTI reply they received a month later said that the Board does not compile such data.

“The circular came as a hope for parents that now CBSE will keep a record of the school fee structure. But the RTI reply came as a shock, that CBSE does not compile such data. Why did the Board even send the circular, if it did not have any intention to keep the record? It has contradicted its own circular,” says Ashish.

Hyderabad schools stopped updating the latest fee hike

Last year, the state Education department issued a circular asking schools in Telangana to display their fee structure on their notice boards and website.

However, for the academic year 2017-18, most of the schools in Hyderabad have stopped updating the latest fee structure on their website and notice board in the schools.

“The schools are not following the state circular issued last year to display their fee structure. We checked more than 100 websites, only 5% of the schools have been displaying their fee structure online,” Ashish says.

Another problem he cited was that when the parents ask for the fee structure details from the private school management, they tend to write it on a piece of paper.

“There are no printed fee structure pamphlets available in the schools any more. We believe this move came about after we gave proof about the fee hike from their website. Some of the schools have even hiked the fee by 70% but they have provided the information on a piece of white paper to the parents. One of the schools in Hyderabad is charging Rs.2 lakh for UKG admission. But they are not providing the printed fee structure,” he alleged.

Several parents have complained to HSPA about the fee hike saying it is hard for them to bear 30% fee hike, while some schools have upped the fee by more than 70%.

With the government not responding to the Postcard campaign, HSPA has planned to intensify their protest this month by launching a sticker campaign.

“We have planned to launch a sticker campaign where supporters will stick a big note on their vehicles with the slogan ‘CM sir please regulate the school fees’. We are planning to launch this before next weekend,” Ashish explains.

 

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