KHAMMAM: Parents claim that private school managements are looting them by collecting huge fees without providing minimum facilities for children in erstwhile Khammam district. A majority of schools are collecting Rs 70,000 to Rs 1,00,000 per student per annum, and even schools with low ranks are collecting Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 per student per annum.As per government norms, every private school should provide free education to 25 per cent of the children who come from poor background, but no school is doing this. They are instead selling those seats for high amounts, claim activists.
There are more than 550 private schools providing education from LKG to class 10 in erstwhile Khammam district. Norms say that every school should have fire and health department’s permissions, but most of the schools do not have them. The schools are housed in very congested spaces and even apartments.
Other facilities like pure drinking water, clean toilets and playgrounds are also not being provided in many schools. Students’ unions and political parties say that education department officials are taking bribes from private schools managements and giving permissions without checking basic facilities. Managements who are running schools from apartments and individual houses are using domestic current meters instead of commercial ones and cheating Transco department of crores every year, they allege. It was also alleged that some school managements are selling text books without having trade license. SFI district president Naga Raju demanded that government file cases against school managements who are not using commercial current meters.
When contacted, district education officer P Madan Mohan said the government appointed a committee to decide the fees in private schools. He also said the government had earlier issued orders to collect Rs 12,800 as fees per annum in urban areas and Rs 10,800 as fees per annum in rural areas, but the private school managements approached court and got stay order. After the committee’s report, the state government would decide the fee structure in schools.