Private schools literally robbing the parents

Private schools literally robbing the parents
Highlights

Increasing fees and donation every year has become a regular practice with the private educational institutions in Karimnagar district, thereby doing a roaring business. According to sources, this year many private schools in the city are charging anything between thousands to lakhs of rupees as donation, depending on how ‘posh’ they are.

Karimnagar: Increasing fees and donation every year has become a regular practice with the private educational institutions in Karimnagar district, thereby doing a roaring business. According to sources, this year many private schools in the city are charging anything between thousands to lakhs of rupees as donation, depending on how ‘posh’ they are.

In fact, the fees are taking a toll on middle and upper-middle class families, who desire their children to study in corporate schools, irrespective of the exorbitant fee and donations. The infrastructure, theme activities, usage of sophisticated technology along with teaching methodology of various private schools are attracting parents by large.

The parents are ready to spend a fortune for the children’s education and never bothered about the skyrocketing tuition fees, additional costs such as transport fee. According to the fee receipt issued to a young couple by a popular school in the city, the total amount charged as ‘fee’ for admission into LKG is around Rs 35,000.

Meanwhile, the managements of private schools claim that these hikes are reasonable and justifies as the cost of maintaining a fully functional private school with quality teaching and world-class infrastructure is quite steep.

In order to prevent private schools from charging unreasonably high fees and to prevent misuse of funds, several state governments have either enacted fee regulation laws or in the process
of framing them.

In 2009, GO MS No. 91 was passed in the united Andhra Pradesh on the key factors involved in the constitution of fee, where a governing body consisting the chairman of the institution, principal, a representative from teachers’ side, a parent along with the president of parents’ association would unanimously agree upon a fee structure. Unfortunately, the GO is not yet implemented.

District convener of Democratic Student Union Janardhan said that the Right to Education Act prohibits both – school management taking donations as well as interviewing children during admissions. However, nothing seems to prevent private schools from taking donations during admissions every year.

ABVP convener of united Karimnagar district K Mallikarjun said that the amounts collected as fee or donations is varies by schools, which are located in lances or branded as corporate, techno, concept, national and international, which are merely added with sole motive of doubling the fee.

What really matters is whether a school has well-trained teachers, a healthy teacher-pupil ratio and an engaging curriculum that encourages children to think independently. But sadly, for most city schools, fancy facilities in the garb of infrastructure and ‘smart classrooms’ have become unique selling propositions of sorts, he added.

The in-charge district education officer, Venkateshwarlu, said that as schools are getting ready to reopen, complaints of exorbitant fees have started pouring in. He warned the management of private schools not to collect high fees from parents and ordered to display the details of fees collected from each class in the notice board of their schools.

By: Thirunagiri Venkteshwara Swamy

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