April 29, 2010

Wow GoAP, what justice is this ?

What justice or law is this ? On one hand government says they have no control on school education & the GO issued by ex CM Dr YSR has been suspended by HC. Government tried to support it half heartedly with only Addl AG taking up this case in HC. Whyn't taken seriously & had the AG take it up personally ? Funny case like Sania & Shoib was taken by him personally & they had no time to take up a case in support of lakhs of parents in the state ???

And now, they want to regulate (as per law they have the right & authority, anyway) in professional colleges. Check these 2 contradictory statements in today's press ! Such a pathetic scenario that the professional college fees are being regulated & are much lesser than many school fee's in AP ....
Mr. CM whats your take on this ? 

School, as a private entity, we're sure has every right & authority to decide on who could be their customers - law of private enterprises. But its a shame that if some rightful demand is being asked for they say "get lost, from our place" Who has given this authority to such people ? Time to say thank you Mr. Educationist !!!

Questions that arise countlessly for parents in Andhra Pradesh
- What is right & what is the law supporting it ?
- What is education & who can afford this ?
- Who is the government supporting & what is being done for its citizens ?
- What, where & why to be questioned & answered .. by whom ?

Times of India | Page2 | 29th April, 2010

Sakshi Telugu News Paper | www.sakshi.com | Page 10 | 29th April, 2010  

April 27, 2010

Unmindfull statement by someone who had no idea as to whats happening !

Times of India | www.timesofindia.com | 24th April, 2010 & 26th April, 2010

1. The first part of the above news that was published in Times of India on 24th April, 2010 quoting some parent is baseless & was found that he was never part of HSPA in the first instance & has been a parent who had no idea as to what has happened or happening in the High Court & unfortunate that he was one of the active parent initially & has now vowed to support a school management for what ever reason.
He hasn't even dared to get his name published, which is a coward act & the person himself should feel S**T of this act of his & we're in the process of taking appropriate action against him.
2. HSPA is an organised body & hasn't authorised except for the office bearers to speak on its behalf in the press. Members are advised any such unsolicited reports would be null & void, as far as HSPA is concerned & we decided to take appropriate action against any one found mis-using HSPAs name without proper authorisation.
3.  High Court Bench wouldn't have spent over 6days in 3 weeks if anyone felt its sheer waste of time & mind the people present (senior counsels included) counted to over 40 ! How un-mindful can this person be to such a serious concern of parents who sweat it out to get their children educated ? 
4. Think over the judgement of Madras High Court & Bombay High Courts which ruled in favour of parents rights & Governments authority over private, un-aided schools try to mint money in the name of education. Think over what all rulings are coming in Delhi High Court ?  

Schools are back with a bang on fee hikes !

Sakshi - Telugu News Paper | http://www.sakshi.com/ | 26th April, 2010

April 26, 2010

Bombay High Courts defines PTA - a mandatory to control excesses by schools.

Bombay High Court is now the trendsetter, after Madras High Court which said Government has every right to regulate & control fee via a committee (as AP named it DFRC). Now its our turn to show our share of success from AP. Congratulations to Team Mumbai for making this happen, which is a booster for all.

April 19, 2010

Parents say won't pay hiked fees

NEW DELHI: To try and rein in rising school fees, parents of students of 30 city schools on Sunday decided not to pay the hiked fees for the new session. Parents gathered at a meeting called by the All India Parents' Association (AIPA) on Sunday, following the latest guidelines issued by the directorate of education (DoE) on April 16. The DoE guidelines now make it mandatory for a school to get the consent of its Parent Teacher Association before the school-managing committee approves any hike in the fee.

According to AIPA, parents will not pay any hike in the fee for the new session, which started this month, unless every school forms a valid PTA and takes its consent before hiking the fee. "Schools have invariably increased the fee by 15% to 20% at the start of the session even though such a hike is unnecessary in most cases. We have now decided to pay the same fee as before and not the hiked amount, said Ashok Aggarwal, national president, AIPA. Aggarwal added, "Parents of nearly 30 schools were present in the meeting, including Summer Fields School, Kailash Colony; Air force Bal Bharati, Lodhi Road; Green Fields School, Safdarjung Enclave; Ramjas School, Anand Parbat; Sachdeva Public School, Rohini; Vishal Bharti School, Paschim Vihar; Navy Children School, Chanakyapuri and others on Sunday morning which went on for almost two-and-a-half hours. We will make other parents also aware of this decision. DoE's fresh guidelines have given us a legal backing. If schools take any action against the parents, we will move court.

AIPA has also decided to move the High court in the coming week so any further hike in fee by the schools can be stopped till the pending issues are settled. Aggarwal said, "The earlier disputes on the matter of fee hike after the Sixth Pay Commission have not been settled yet. How can the schools again hike the fee? There are so many schools in south and east Delhi and Rohini which have made a steep hike in fee again this year. They do not even have proper PTAs. According to parents present at the meeting, most schools have surplus funds that can be used by the school instead of hiking the fee every year.

A parent, whose child studies in a reputed school in south Delhi, but did not wish to be named, said, "The school has asked parents to pay a total of Rs 43,600 at the start of the session when another branch of the school is asking for Rs 25,000. The problem is we are not really aware of what all charges can a school levy on us. All parents are agitated but don't know how to react. The school has no parents association. He said that around Rs 23,000 of the total fee had to be paid for various heads like development fund, orientation fee and miscellaneous charges. "We are afraid of going to the school management individually and the school doesn't listen to us either," he said.

However, schools call parents step unjustified and the directorate's latest circular illegal. According to schools, the quantum of hike has to be decided by March every year and the managing committees have governments nominees on it. R P Mullick, chairperson, Federation of Schools — a body of 300 private unaided schools in the city — said, "No act says that the fee hike has to be approved by the PTA. Only the managing committee of the school has to clear it. Most schools have already done that in March and the government's nominees have signed on it. The hiked fee has been also been recovered in many schools. How can DoE then send us such a circular? We are not going to follow it as it is illegal."

Want to read the circular by DoE on yourself ? Click on the link below  http://edudel.nic.in/new_circulars/1978_dt_16042010.html

Wondering who's who in Court !

  • The various writ petitions filed by schools in AP are being heard together by High Court bench comprising of Judges Sri Goda Raghuram & Sri Noushad Ali.
  • As of today the case has been heard for over 6days in last 3weeks. Lots of time has been spent on this case alone & judges have heard all the parties concerned.
  • Addl Advocate General has represented the state government.
  • HSPA has been represented by Sri CV Mohan Reddy through the arguments.
  • Schools have hired some of the senior most counsels in the state & also brough in Sri PP Rao from Supreme Court to put forward their views to court.
  • Below is the list of the lawyers representing the various schools in HC. Pls note that most lawyers could be on record lawyers but aptly supported by senior counsels.

April 16, 2010

Private Schools for the Poor Development, Provision, and Choice in India

Across the world, millions of poor families are sending their children to schools with fees as low as $1/month. In the city of Hyderabad, 73% of families in slum areas send their children to private school. This report examines private enrollment throughout India to explain why private schools for the poor exist and in which cases they are most likely to have the largest effect on enrollment. Covering every state and region of India, the study utilizes a macro-level analysis of various independent factors such as government spending on education, political opinion, economic data, and cultural variables to determine their relationship to private schools in the developing world. In addition, case studies in Hyderabad and Mumbai trace the history of school development.

Key findings include the following:

1. Private schooling in India is demand-driven. Parents choose private education because they believe they provide better education and future opportunities for their children than the government schools. Supply-side factors have little statistical relationship to private schools; private schools exist because parents demand them.

2. There is no statistical relationship between a particular region’s wealth and private enrollment. Private schools in India are as likely to exist in poor areas as rich ones.

3. Political factors play a serious role in private education choice. Government spending on education has an inverse relationship with private enrollment: the more governments spend on education in a given state, the lower private enrollment is. In addition, public opinion of a local government matters—the lower opinion of the government is related to higher private enrollment. Finally, there is a major statistical link between teacher absence in government schools and private enrollment.

4. Certain cultural factors affect private enrollment. Hyderabad illustrates how English language instruction drives private schooling; Mumbai shows how in slum areas, private schools may be the poor’s only choice, and the macro-level analysis shows a strong link between Muslim population and private enrollment.

5. Political and regulatory differences between states affect the size of the private sector. For example, the requirement in Maharastra to be a registered society or trust makes establishing a private school more cumbersome.

6. Suggested related reading is included as part of GHMC’s Enterprising Schools project.
The popularity of private schooling as a choice for low-income parents suggests that private education is likely to be prevalent throughout the developing world, not just in India.

However, existing literature and this report do little to explore private school quality—the most pressing future research need is measuring school quality and communicating it to parents. On a larger scale, these findings reinforce the larger notion that market-based approaches which focus on consumer demand should drive development strategies.

Ross Baird, Gray Matters Capital, May 2009 | Courtesy : http://schoolchoice.in/blog/

April 11, 2010

We're not alone, its a national phenomena !

Act on fee regulation in schools upheld
CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Friday upheld the validity of the Tamil Nadu Schools (Regulation of Collection of Fee) Act 2009.

In its 52-page common judgment disposing of a batch of writ petitions, the First Bench comprising Chief Justice H.L. Gokhale and Justice K.K. Sasidharan, said the Act was in consonance with the law laid down by the Supreme Court, and it by and large struck a balance between institutions' autonomy and measures to prevent commercialisation of education. There were sufficient guidelines in the statute for either approving or fixing the fees, the Bench said. However, the Bench held Section 11 of the Act as ultra vires Article 14 of the Constitution. The power of the District Committee or its members under Section 11 (2) of the Act and Rules 4(4) and 4(5) to enter private schools or its premises or those of the management at any time for search, inspection and seizure are held to be arbitrary. The petitioners, the Tamil Nadu Nursery, Matriculation and Higher Secondary Schools Association and others which were unaided private school managements, sought to declare the legislation and its rules as unconstitutional.Additional Advocate-General P.Wilson pointed out that several commissions, including the Kothari Commission on education, had emphasised appropriate measures with regard to reforms in the education sector.

The Bench said the impugned Act in no way fixed a rigid fee.

No fee hike, yet!
Here’s some good news for parents whose children go to unaided schools. No fee hikes until the High Court issues a directive. What will definitely make them happier is that schools may have to return the ‘extra fees’ that they charged

Parents of children who go to unaided schools can breathe a sigh of relief, thanks to the latest government resolution (GR) regarding the much debated fee hike. The GR has stated that there will be no fee hike until the next direction comes from the Bombay High Court. It also states that schools which do not follow the norms may face action by the School Education Department. With this fresh GR, schools may have to return any excess fees they had charged earlier. Various parent associations are now demanding that they should be refunded the excess fees immediately.

Jayant Jain, president of the All India Federation of Parents Teachers Association (AIFPTA), said, “We appreciate this decision taken by the government. Although it is a bit late, we feel that the government should take action against those schools who fail to obey this order.
The government should also take suitable steps to refund the hiked fees, as most of the schools have already increased their fees by about 80 per cent and may not be willing to refund the same.” Jain who also heads the Forum for Fairness in Education, appealed to parents, “The parents whose children are in those schools should also come forward and lodge complaints with the Education Department or inform the Forum for Fairness in Education if schools refuse to refund the fees.”

The earlier decision of the government (GR dated February 23) was interpreted as permission to hike fees. Parents’ organisations in the city approached the government to clarify the decision and give a directive regarding it. Finally, the state government has come up with a fresh GR dated March 4, stating that no fee hike will be allowed till further directive from the High Court.

Abhijit Kundu, a parent from Pune, said, “Many schools like Delhi Public School have raised fees with effect from April 2009. Parents should get back the excess amount they have paid as the GR says that the fee structure should be as it was in 2008-09.” Sandip Chavan of D Y Patil Parents Association said, “There are many schools in Pune which have hiked fee by almost 40 to 80 per cent. The government should take action against these schools.” As per the High Court directive last year, the state government had formed a committee to decide the norms of fee structures for unaided schools.
Retired IAS officer Kumud Bansal headed the committee, which submitted its report five months ago. However, parents are opposing the Bansal committee report saying that it is pro-management and against the interests of parents. PTA United Forum, a Mumbai-based organisation has now formed an action committee to oppose the Bansal committee report.  Arundhati Chavan of the Action committee said, “With persistent efforts from the Action Committee against the Bansal report, the government has come out with a fresh GR favouring the parents.

Parents should now approach their respective schools and demand a refund from the school managements who have gone ahead and charged the increased fee.”

School fee hike for 2010-11 under scanner
Pune: Many city schools that had notified the parents about a fee hike for the academic year 2010-11 are in for a trouble as the office of the deputy director of education has issued a warning that no schools would be allowed to hike fees at will.

There are about 100 English medium schools in the city and many of them had sent notices about the fee hike for the coming year. Deputy director of education Sunil Magar on Friday issued a circular to all the schools that no school could hike fees without the permission of the deputy director’s office. “As per the government resolution dated May 8, 2009, the schools are not allowed to increase fees without the permission of fee regulatory committee,” said Magar.

There are around 700 aided and unaided schools in the city. “Some parents and students’ organisations have filed complaints with the deputy director’s office regarding schools distributing circulars to parents about hike in fees for the next academic year. We have taken cognisance of this and issued a circular that schools cannot do so without our permission,” he said.

Delhi HC stays Govt order against school fee hike
The Delhi High Court stayed the Delhi government's order barring schools from hiking fees without the approval of Parents Teachers Associations.

A Division Bench headed by Justice A K Sikri stayed the recent notification of Education Department on a plea of schools that the government should not issue any order on fee hike till the disposal of their petition in the court. Meanwhile, the court extended the time granted to the government by two weeks for filing its reply to a notice on a petition filed by the parents association challenging the government's permission to schools to hike their fees.

The Bench was hearing a PIL, filed by the Delhi Abhibhavak Sangh, Social Jurists, an NGO, and Faith Academy Parent's Association through counsel Ashok Aggarwal alleging that the government had gone contrary to the recommendation given by S L Bansal Committee, constituted to look into the fee hike by schools.