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Fleecing by private schools set to be thing of past in AP

Andhra Pradesh Assembly passes Bills to regulate school and higher education 

Published: 30th July 2019 06:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st July 2019 04:30 AM   |  A+A-

Delhi private school students

Image used for representational purpose. (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: In a landmark step towards controlling the fee structure in private educational institutions, the State Legislative Assembly on Monday passed the Andhra Pradesh School Education Regulatory and Monitoring Commission Bill.

The AP Higher Education Regulatory and Monitoring Commission Bill to maintain standards of education, safeguard the interests of students, regulate fee and monitor service conditions of teachers was also passed in the Assembly.

The School Education Regulatory and Monitoring Commission will be headed by a retired High Court Judge. He will be appointed by the Chief Justice of AP High Court. The commission with 11 eminent academicians as members, will not only regulate the fee structure but also monitor admissions and teaching standards in private educational institutions. It will also give grading to private schools by making inspection.

“The commission will also ensure strict implementation of the Right To Education (RTE) Act. If any school fails to implement its recommendations, the commission will initially warn it and later it will be penalised. If the school continues to violate the norms, the commission will have the power to enforce its closure,” Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy said, explaining the salient features of the Bill.

Speaking in the Assembly during the passage of the Bill, Jagan alleged that the previous TDP regime diluted the educational standards in government schools and failed to rein in the private schools violating the norms.

“It (the passage of the Bill) is a historic development. In the last five years, we saw those running schools and colleges as ministers. In the absence of a mechanism to control the private schools, fee for LKG, UKG and Class 1 rose to Rs 60,000 to Rs 1 lakh. The provision for allotment of 25 per cent of seats to students of weaker sections under the RTE Act was not enforced strictly in the State,’’ the CM said.

Alleging that the previous TDP regime neglected government schools by not paying the mid-day meal bills in time, delaying the supply of books and closing schools in the name of rationalisation, Jagan said it allowed the private schools to fleece parents. “The Bill will bring about a complete change in the school education system in the State,’’ Jagan said.

Stating that the rate of illiteracy in AP as per 2011 census stood at 33 per cent, more than the national average of 26 per cent, he said despite the fact that education is a right and an asset to students as it is nothing but a weapon to lift them out of poverty, poor financial condition of parents left many children out of school. Hence, the State government initiated steps to improve the rate of literacy, he said.

Commission with more teeth  

The Andhra Pradesh School Education Regulatory and Monitoring Commission will be headed by a retired High Court Judge
It will not only regulate the fee structure but also monitor admissions in private schools
It will ensure strict implementation of the Right To Education Act

Composition of commission

  • The AP School Education Regulatory and Monitoring Commission, headed by a retired High Court Judge, will have 11 members
  • One member will be a prominent Chartered Accountant or a person with 20 years of experience in the field of public finance
  • Five members will be eminent academicians
  • Two members will be persons with experience in administrative matters, one of them will be preferably a retired or in service bureaucrat
  • One member will be a retired or in service senior school education official of the rank of director or additional director
  • One member will be a representative of a reputed educational institution in the State
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