March 31, 2010

Tomorrow never comes & only you can help yourselves, today !

This new year & a new decade has started with a big bang to parents of school going children in AP with the GO_MS91 getting suspended & schools started with demanding fee hikes (not as high as yester years, thanks to all parents for uniting for over one year now) for the academic year coming up in few schools & that has already started in few.

As all of you are aware by now, HSPA has hired some of the best counsels to fight for us against the school managements who wanted to get the GO_MS91 scrapped. HSPA has impleaded into most of the school cases & the same came for hearing first last week & again yesterday.
List of schools which went to High Court against GO_MS91 & 92
1. Niraj Public School
2. Meridian Public School
3. Chirec Public School
4. Delhi Public School Hyderabad & Secunderabad
5. Princess Esin School
6. St. Andrew’s High School
7. Nalanda Vidyalaya
8. Glendale Academy
9. International School, Shaikpet
10. Nasr School
11. CAL Public School
12. Sunflower School
13. Oakridge School
14. Chaitanya Model School
15. Narayana Schools
16. Vikas Schools
& the count goes on …

Yesterday the court heard Mr. PP Rao (Supreme Court lawyer) who represented Chirec in HC for about 4 odd hours. Today many other lawyers we heard @ the same court on their views & all of them have a complaint that state has no right to control fee related stuff in private, un-aided schools.

The case is likely to come up again next week & it could be the Government & our turn to defend why we’re complaining & why Government has taken up action.

Fellow Parents, it’s the time we unite, spread as wide as possible & show our strength. Imagine what happens when Parents unite together in large numbers?

- Government favors & helps with GO in case of AP
- School managements come down in case of KPS, Sahibabad
- Bring down fee hikes to reasonable numbers like in AP, by most schools this year
- Settle down with agreeable hikes in many schools elsewhere
- Courts come to the rescue of parents as in Delhi or Maharashtra
and the list goes on.

Today is the only time we have & we need you to pledge your support for this cause. We loose today, tomorrow never comes !

March 23, 2010

Invitation to parents from across to actively participate for the cause, that could change everyone's life.

We’re sure you know about GO_MS_91 and how HSPA worked relentlessly in 2009 with late CM YSR and his team to get this GO rolled out in the larger interest of parents in AP state. Private Un-aided schools (Like DPS, Meridian, Chirec, Niraj, St Andrew’s, Pricess Esin and Nalanda) could not take this possibility of REGULATORS in education sector and challenged the GO and managed to get 4 weeks temporary suspension of GO_MS_91 so that the case can be heard with their perspective.

But just with the news of 4 weeks temporary suspension of GO_MS_91, all schools had started raising their fees again without any fear of regulation. Some schools had even sent “revised written circulars” with a fee being revised twice within a same academic year. The hikes generally across the city for 2010 -11 is pegged currently at 5- 23%.

HSPA has been included in this case as a body representing the interest of parents across the Greater Hyderabad City. The case was heard on last Tuesday in AP High Court with Schools, AP Government and HSPA as 3 parties. Last hearing continued for 1.5 hours & had gone very positive around Government’s role to review/ regulate Fee “yearly hike” in Private –unaided schools also. CBSE/ ICSE/ IB etc are all affiliation bodies and have no role around administrative governance.
HSPA had hired the services of a very prestigious “Designated Senior Counsel” who has been “Ex Advocate General” and looking at how he had contested the case on last Tuesday with his team, all the Schools have now merged their 9 legal teams to contest this case an additionally hired AP HC Senior Counsel and 2 Supreme Court counsels being called from Delhi to contest this on next Tuesday March 30th. Based on how fast its going, Our counsel feel that the case can be wrapped up within next 15 days, as against our earlier expectation of 1-2 years.
If HSPA alongwith AP Government is successful in retaining the sanctity of GO_MS_91, then you can be assured that you will continue to get quality education but will not be at the ransom of the school for “take it or leave it” stand!!!

Please note that you may transfer to IDBI Basheerbagh incase Ameerpet branch is not visible. 

March 7, 2010

No fee hike in private schools, Maharashtra govt clarifies

Mumbai: The state education department has finally stepped in to rescue parents from the hefty fee hikes. The department has issued a clarification for its earlier government resolution (GR which says that schools are not authorised to hike fees until the high court order.

The new GR issued on March 4 further states that schools should follow the fee structure of the academic year 2008-09 and action will be taken if the order is not followed. “We have issued a clarification to the earlier GR as parents were uncertain,” said Sanjay Kumar, education secretary. “The GR prohibits private unaided schools to hike fees.”

Parents had claimed that the previous GR, issued on February 23, was ambiguous. “We complained about the GR and the education secretary agreed with us. He instructed the deputy secretary A Bhattalwar to issue a clarification,” said Jayant Jain, president of All India Federation of Parents Teachers Association.

However, for many parents the order comes too late as 90% of the private schools had hiked their fees in mid-September after the interim court order which had approved of the increase. “Those affected must lodge a complaint with the education department. The government will force the school to refund the fees,” said Jain.

Now schools are confused with the new GR. A principal from a suburban school said: “The GR says that schools cannot hike fees, but it doesn’t specify whether we should refund the hiked fees collected previously in August.”

March 3, 2010

Open invitation to Parents of all schools from HSPA

The Hyderabad Schools Parents Association is now federation of several individual school parent associations that have been formed to take a just cause forward collectively, namely the “year-on-year school fee hike” issue. So far individual parent associations of each school have been demanding for justice and have knocked several doors. Being a part of the HSPA enables you to voice your concerns and also ensures that neither you nor your child gets into a confrontation situation with your school.

1. So what is HSPA’s agenda?
Parents for the past 3-4 years have been in a rude shock every year with schools passing on unjustified fee hikes to the tune of 40-240%. Since years schools always had minimal fee hikes to maintain their expenses but now educational bodies under the disguise of quality education and facilities have been hiking fees to meet their commercial aspirations. So much so that today for a medium level school the average monthly fee hovers around Rs.6000/-. Therefore, the agenda of HSPA is to bring in a system to regulate year on year fee hikes and make educational bodies accountable, when they want to ‘hike’ it further. This scenario is not unique to Hyderabad only and there are similar movements of parents in other states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Bengal, Delhi , Rajasthan and more.

2. How can we get this regulatory fee structure operational?
By mandating that schools uphold the order of Government of Andhra Pradesh (GO MS-91) issued on 8th august 2009.

3. How was this GO issued in the first place?
This GO was the result of a combined effort on the part of parents from several schools who came together under the HSPA umbrella and put forward their grievance and got the government to understand exactly what was happening. The AP Government acted on priority and within 20 days released the GO to curb such unjustified hikes.

4. Will regulation make schools compromise on quality?
The GO has been well conceived, the government will not interfere with fixing of fee structures of school because each school depending on the infrastructure, salaries, maintenance etc has the freedom to decide its fee. The regulation is focused around the oversight on the year on year fee hike. Schools are expected to share their income/expense statement and if justified they can hike the fee. The important aspect here is that school need to justify why they would need to hike the fee and pass-on to parents?

5. How did the schools react to this?
They are unhappy as they are now being held accountable every time they plan to hike up the fees further for similar set-up. They also have to justify the hike towards additional facilities they intend to provide, as cost towards any additional facilities is not covered through Annual Tuition fees, according to CBSE/ State/ ICSE laws. Being commercial minded they are an unhappy lot as their actions will now be questioned. Schools have approached the High Court and are trying their best to get the GO scrapped. So far they have been partially successful to get the GO temporarily suspended for few weeks. In one of the School’s case, High Court has also suggested parents to move school, if it has become unaffordable over a period of time.

6. So what does HSPA plan to do?
The HSPA plans to make a representation using all legal angles to ensure that the Stay Order on the GO is duly vacated. To achieve this HSPA has engaged a senior council to represent itself in the High Court. If required HSPA is ready to take matters to the Supreme Court where several such cases have already come up. The joint case will ensure that court takes this seriously as a social matter rather than issue concerning with just one school and hence can’t dispose off citing movement to another school with lesser fee, as all other schools also go through yearly fee hikes.

7. Why do we need a Senior Council?
There are 7 writ petitions filed in the High Court from various schools like Niraj, Meridian , DPS, Chirec etc who have engaged very senior councils to ensure the GO is scrapped and they can continue to hike fee year on year without being accountable to anyone. In such scenario it becomes very essential that we engage an equally strong council to represent and speak for our concerns in the court.

8. How much will it cost us?
HSPA is expecting an outlay of about Rs. 10-12 lacs for the legal battle and its other supporting expenses from time to time.

9. How does HSPA plan to raise such amount to fight for the cause?
Each of the School associations collects Rs 500 from the individual parents of their association, towards this legal cause, significantly critical to all parents in AP, against their individual School associations receipts. Using this collection from parents, these school associations pass-on atleast Rs 50,000 to HSPA account for unified legal action. We would require 20 such school associations to reach our 10Lac figure using this model, and we know we don’t have that many in Hyderabad . We are hoping to have around Rs 7 Lac collection from the School Association channel.

Additionally, HSPA or individual school representatives need to reach out additionally to individual school parents and collect Rs 500 each from them. We are hoping to have around Rs 5Lac collection from this channel. Collection can happen, against the HSPA receipts, using cash, cheque, net-banking fund transfer etc.

10. In what way will we benefit?
The GO once implemented, will ensure that you don’t get a rude shock every time the school hikes its fees. It must be understood we are NOT fighting to ensure NO FEE HIKES. We are fighting for a decent regulation to ensure that both sides benefit for mutually effective running of the school. Parents would not be forced to change school due to the year-on-year hike also.

11. How will it help in the long run?
You and for generations to come tomorrow stand to reap the benefits of a good education with fee hikes commensurate with facilities being provided from time to time by their respective schools. It will ensure quality education will be made available to a large section of the society and at a cost, linked to Consumer Price Index.

12. What have been our achievements so far?
• HSPA has provided a platform to parents to voice their concerns and opinions without the fear of being targeted individually by their specific School Management.
• HSPA has induced the government to issue a GO
• HSPA has ensured that compulsory extras like MEALS & TRANSPORT charges, have been made optional
• Further to our persuasion, the hikes have now come into single digits in lot of schools, but this could also have been done momentarily to avoid unwanted immediate attention of parents on this subject; for parents to get a shock again in future.

13. So how can I join this noble social crusade?
We welcome participation from every parent. In case you do not have the time to spare for active involvement, you can contribute your might by putting forward Rs 500/- or Rs 1000/- or multiples thereof. You can make the payment for legal fees using following channels:

1. Electronic Fund Transfer : Please transfer the amount to the following account
Account name          HS Parents Association
Account number       426104000011981 (Savings Bank Account)
IFSC Code               IBKL0000426
Bank                       IDBI, Ameerpet Branch, Hyderabad

And send an email to with the transaction reference number, Parents name, Child's name, School and your Mobile number. Please add "HSPA Legal Fee Contribution" as the subject line.

2. Cheque through post : Please send over cheque in the name of "HS Parents Association" to the following address : HSPA, Flat No 201, Jaya Krishna Apartments, Rajeev Nagar, Yousufguda Post, Hyderabad 500 045, India. Please do mention Parents name, Childs name, School and your Mobile number and do mention "HSPA Legal Free Contribution" behind the cheque.
A receipt will be issued to you right after realizing the cheque or upon the completion of the transfer.
Your contribution will go a long way collectively. For every penny put forward, gives us that much room to legally approach this issue with a no holds barred!

Think of it this way, you could have given Rs 4000 - 5000 towards an extra facility demanded by the school or it could be just one evening of movie & dinner for your family in a restaurant. On the contrary a very meager contribution from you towards this cause ensures that you do not pay through your nose in the future.

Imagine a scenario where your child is in the 1st standard today and if there is no regulation on fee structure, going by the promised 25% hike every year you will end up paying 5lakh rupees per year by the time the child reaches class IX or Xth! And we are talking about basic education, which is the right of a child of every taxpayer in this country!!

Jaago !!!