January 18, 2013

Parents complain about fee hike

Hyderabad: City parents, who are feeling the pinch of fee hike in schools, have lodged a complaint with the secondary education department seeking action against four schools for demanding hefty capitation fee in the name of building development fund.

The Hyderabad School Parents’s Association (HSPA) has already launched protests against dozen top schools for hiking fee ranging between 5% and 15%. Some of the schools have increased the fee for the consecutive year. Parents complained that the schools had also increased the capitation fee by 2% to 3%. As per the Right to Education Act, charging capitation fee is a punishable offence and the education department says it needs to collect evidence against the accused school managements before taking action. The secondary education department has asked the district education officer to conduct an inquiry. “The schools cannot be held guilty unless charges are proved. The inquiry will take more than three weeks to complete,” said a senior official of the department. TNN

Times of India | Hyderabad | Page 3 | January 18, 2013

January 15, 2013

Parents cry foul as Hyderabad schools hike fees

HYDERABAD: The admission season is just beginning and several schools in the city have already announced up to15% hike in their fee structure. While about a dozen top schools which are currently charging fee between Rs 45,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh have hiked the tuition charges by 5 to 15%, parents associations in the city are demanding the state government to control unjustified hike in fee.

Some of the schools which have increased the fee this year are those which had implemented a fee hike last year too. Hyderabad Schools Parents' Association (HSPA) will petition the state government if unjustified fee hikes are not monitored, HSPA representative said. Parents said that the schools which have hiked the fee include Delhi Public School and Oxford. More schools could announce their hikes in the next month, parents predicted.

The parents associations in the city pointed out that the state government had promised them in 2011 that fee hike in schools will be monitored to prevent any additional financial burden on them. The government had decided to come up with a new act to prevent private schools from increasing fees every academic year.

When asked about the laxity in implementing the act, K Parthasarathi, minister for secondary education said that following the example of Tamil Nadu, the state government will enact the act before the commencement of the next academic year. The Act will also lay out rules that will have to be followed by the secondary education department while granting recognition to private schools.

The state's initiative for the new Act is part of the mandate of the Right to Education (RTE) Act that stipulates new legislation to control private schools. Also, a high court order issued in 2010 had directed the department to come up with fresh rules of fee regulation.

"The court had directed the school education department to come out with new rules as the old GO (Ms No 91) was issued in a hurry and had several flaws. If the government is planning to come out with new regulations before the commencement of the next academic year, many parents will be relieved," said Kamal Malliramani, a member HSPA.

According to HSPA records, several city schools have already hiked their fee structure by 10% to 15% for the coming academic year. "If a new legislation is put in place, there will be some amount of fear among private schools and unjustified fee-hike might stop," said Malliramani.

HSPA said the state government should force the schools to make their fee structure a public document like in Tamil Nadu. Meanwhile, private school managements said that they would welcome the move only if fee regulation is introduced across the board. "No schools including international and corporate schools should be exempted from regulation," said Srinivas Reddy, convener, Recognised Schools' Managements' Association.