Hyderabad: Tollywood actor Siva Balaji and his wife Madhumitha joined the Hyderabad School Parent’s Association’s against private schools for collecting excessive fees. They requested Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao to regulate school fees in the state.
Members of the HSPA alleged that private schools are removing students from online classes (for failing to pay fees), and are hence violating Government Order (GO) 46.
“The state government either totally ignored this loot by schools or at best has paid lip service to it. Schools have violated GO 46 issued by the TS government for which the HSPA has filed a Public Interest Litigation in the High Court, which is at an advanced stage of hearing. Many more schools are following this as there is no action from the state. Corporate schools including St. Andrews School at Bowenpally, Mount Lateranee school at Manikonda and Glendale Academy at Bandlaguda,” said the HSPA.
Siva Balaji and wife Madhumitha have reportedly filed a complaint against Mount Litera Zee school at Manikonda in the Human Rights Commission (HRC) for allegedly disconnecting their children’s online classes without prior notice. Joining the HSPA’s protest, Balaji said, “Schools have stopped many other non-tution activities that were undertaken during the pre-COVID physical school time. This has saved the school significant expenses, despite that the school is insisting on payment of the full amount during Coronavirus pandemic to indulge In further profiteering,” added the HSPA.
Balaji’s wife Madhumitha also said, “Whatever limited laws that exists are not being implemented. GO MS No. 1 issued by the government in 1994 stipulates among other rules that the schools can earn a maximum profit of 5%. 50% of fees collected should be paid as salaries to the teachers but whereas inspite of following these laws the schools are collecting excessive fees which includes all other fees which used to be collected before the COVID-19 outbreak.” She also pointed out that when children are not being able to utilise all these activities practicality in schools, then there is no need to pay for it. “Even my two children were removed from the online classes as we questioned the school management about the excessive fees,” she lamented.
New regulations attempted are flawed
Former Vice – Chancellor (VC) of Osmania University (ou), Tirupati Rao, has submitted a report on private school fee regulation to the Telangana government in January 2018. The report has touched on key aspects that would bring relief to parents of school children. It makes the schools more accountable and accords controlling powers to government machinery.
According to the report, no private school should collect donations on its premises. If the schools find the need to increase the school foo, they should submit a two years audit report online in government prescribed format.