HYDERABAD: BY introducing a Bill on School Fee Regulation, Andhra has given parents in Telangana yet another reason to criticise TRS government. The allegation is that the State has failed to walk the talk on school fee regulation, despite promising the same during both Assembly and GHMC elections.
The parents say that despite there being no real agitation against school fee loot or even an organised parents’ association there yet, the AP government has still shown receptivity to parents’ woes.
According to the statistics released by the Unified District Information on School Education (UDISE) in 2016-17, there are around 12,600 private schools in the State, catering to nearly 50 lakh children. So while private schools constitute only 29 per cent of schools in the State, they accommodate over 50 per cent of the strength. Despite widespread agitation, all the government has to offer is a deafening silence on the issue.
Even the much-hyped Prof Tirupathi Rao Committee report, which was submitted last December after a series of extensions, is now gathering dust. The higher officials in the School Education Department (SED) too seems clueless about the issue and refuse to comment on the matter. “We have sent the report to the government and are awaiting further orders,” said T Vijaya Kumar, SED commissioner and director.
“There is no initiative from the government to pass any legislation that keeps a check on arbitrary fee hike. What AP has done is commendable and it’s time Telangana government takes up the issue. We will pressurise the government to bring a bill in its next Assembly session,” said Nagati Narayana, president of Telangana Parents Association.
“What’s particularly sad is that no one is talking about the fee regulatory committee. It looks like there won’t be any change in the situation unless the courts step in,” said a parent who has been fighting against this exploitation for over three years. Though a case is pending in the high court, it has not been listed since the new judge took charge. Parents fear that vested interests are at work.
Meanwhile, Hyderabad Schools Parents Association ( HSPA) has decided to step up its demand. Seema Agarwal from HSPA said that AP’s decision has given hope to them. “We will be meeting Education Secretary B Janardhan Reddy to enquire about the government’s plans to curb school fee loot. They won’t be allowed to remain silent anymore,” she said.