Rising school fees put parents in a fix

Rising school fees put parents in a fix

It is always a nightmare for parents before the beginning of a new academic year as unaided private schools charge fees exorbitantly.

Warangal: It is always a nightmare for parents before the beginning of a new academic year as unaided private schools charge fees exorbitantly. The parents are unable to digest the bitter pill of hefty increase of yearly and monthly fees in many private schools in the tri-cities of Hanamkonda, Khazipet and Warangal.

The parents, whose children study in private schools, are feeling the heat due to ‘arbitrary hike’ of school fees every academic year. The parents and the representatives of various students unions allege that the administration of many private schools are collecting excess fees by violating stipulated norms of the government.

L Raju, a parent of two children said, “When I did my post graduation in 2009, 1 spent an amount of Rs 12,000 for it. Now, just getting my daughter admitted into a lower primary school costs me anywhere between Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 and then there is the additional monthly fees,” he said.

It is not possible to pool up so much money towards school fee every year. The amount of money being charged for texts and note books along with other materials in the new academic year is also much higher than the market price. Moreover, they sell the materials with the name of their institution printed prominently on them, he complained.

“Almost all the schools increase their fees every academic year ranging from 20-30 percent fees. We staged dharnas a number of times demanding the officials of Education Department to take immediate steps to stop this menace,” said Student Federation of India district secretary Santosh.

Instead of taking action against the schools, the officials were practically protecting the mighty and the greedy managements of the unaided private schools, he alleged. He demanded that the government implement the GO 91 and 42 and seize the schools if found violating rules and those do not have all basic facilities.

The District Education Officer S Srinivas Chary ordered the management of the private schools to display the details of fees on the notice boards in their schools as par the G O 1for the academic year 2017-18 and warned them against collecting of high fees violating rules.

He also said that selling of textbooks and notebooks, uniforms, shoes and socks along with tie and belts is not allowed in private schools. If any schools do so comply, stringent actions would be taken as per the rule and regulations, he warned.

Kolagani Srinivas, the representative of the Books Merchants JAC alleged that many private schools in tri-cities were selling the books and other materials to the students for high prices violating the rules and demanded that the officials take immediate actions and stop selling of books and other materials in the private schools.

He warned that if the government did not take any action, they were going to lay siege to the District Collectorate on April 1. G Venkata Swamy, a retired government teacher said, “It is purely illegal income for private schools collecting excess fees in the name of school development and hiking admission fees every year as no receipt is issued against the payment made. While parents are looted, schools make easy money in crores.”

“The Educational department has miserably failed to prevent this menace. There is a need for the government to regulate the fees charged by private schools. It should fix a ceiling and issue guidelines about what is the permissible level of fee hike per annum,” he observed. “There is a need for an overall reform in the education system. We ought to develop a strong alternative to private schools in the government sector,” he added.

By Puli Sharath Kumar

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