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Schools cock a snook at G.O.75; continue to fleece parents in city

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Parents and associations of school students cry foul as many schools continue to charge the entire fee while clubbing other charges into tuition fee despite State government GO No 75.

Hyderabad: Parents and associations of school students cry foul as many schools continue to charge the entire fee while clubbing other charges into tuition fee despite State government GO No 75.

It may be mentioned here that the State government issued GO 75 to regulate school fees for the Academic Year 2021-22, which stated that the schools should only charge tuition fees on monthly basis till further orders. The GO was issued in view of the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic situation. It directed all private, unaided recognized schools in the State, other international boards, CBSE, ICSE boards, not to increase any kind of fees during the current academic year. It also stated that violation of the GO 75 would result in the cancellation of school recognition. It came in effect after the GO 46 ended with Academic Year 2020-21 which was issued with the same objective. However, the GO 75 and GO 46 did not contain or define the tuition fee, which has left parents in a quandary.

Nonetheless, parents say that this has not deterred schools. They said that the schools rolled full fees into tuition fees and further added that to enter their wards into online classes; they have to settle down with fee demands.

"My child got blocked from online classes from the last four days and now she can't even write her unit test scheduled tomorrow. There is no clarity on tuition fee in the GO 75," said a parent whose child studies in Glendale Academy International. Similar situations have been encountered by many parents across the State where schools have obstructed access to online classes if children failed to pay the fees. Another Parent said that GO clearly says pay only tuition fee, schools make a smart move and issue a receipt claiming that everything is under tuition fee. If parents refrain from paying and when asked for a fee structure explanation the schools disconnect students from online classes.

The silence of the State government over the explanation of tuition fees has left parents in difficulty. They felt that they are impotent even though they have reached out to DEOs, collectors and Education Minister Sabitha Indra Reddy nothing have ben done yet.

Suggesting an alternative solution to the issue the parents say that there should have been a separate reduced fee structure for online classes with at least 50 per cent of reduction as compared to physical classes' fee structure. However, many schools have also rolled back to last year's fees and are not taking the hiked fees unlike other schools, said parents. "The GO 75 or GO 46 enables schools managements to take shelter and invariably to collect fees as the previous year," said a member of Hyderabad Student Parents Association (HSPA).

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