May 14, 2009

RELIEF FOR PARENTS : Ceiling on fee collection in private schools soon

For all those parents who braved every obstacle to move the mountains, with lots of hopes & ray of light in their vision, its a moment to cherish this welcome news from Hyderabad Collector & also some direction being driven by the Directorate of Education. This wouldn't have been possible ifn't for you & you alone, for your relentless efforts over weeks for few & months for may. Thanks to each & every parent for their support & special mention to parents of Meridian School, DPS Hyderabad & Secunderabad, Sunflower School, St. Ann's & many other who made this happen. Thanks a lot to media (TV & Print0 for their support all through & the officials who followed & read the minds of thousands of parents not just in twin cities but elsewhere !!!

Hyderabad: If the Hyderabad district administration has its way, schools will no longer charge fee as per their whims and fancies. The administration plans to introduce an upper limit for fee collection by schools— state government recognised private schools as well as those following CBSE, ICSE and other boards—soon. For starters, from Thursday a help line, ‘69996399’ will be functional to help parents report on increase in fee or collection of capitation fee. As per a draft proposal, the upper limit for school fee for state government recognised schools would be Rs 24,000 for classes one to five and Rs 30,000 for classes six to 10. For CBSE, ICSE and other Board schools, the upper limit would be Rs 42,000 for primary classes and Rs 48,000 for six to 10. The schools can, however, collect extra money for transport, food, uniform and textbooks. The proposal would be implemented in 548 primary, 336 upper primary and 699 high schools in the city from the academic year 2009-10. “Schools have increased fee manifold. This will not happen if there is a ceiling on fee collection. The draft proposal will be sent to the department of school education for consideration tomorrow,” Hyderabad district collector Navin Mittal said at a media briefing here on Wednesday. Parents could get information from the helpline about the rules which prohibit schools from collecting capitation fee. However, for action to be taken against city schools, the parents would have to give a written complaint to the District Education Officer. “Even if admissions have taken place for the new academic year, the parents can give a written complaint. If it is proved, the school has taken capitation fee, it will be reimbursed to the parent,” Mittal added. The collector said based on the AP Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admission) and Prohibition of Capitation Fee Act, 1983, collection of capitation fee was punishable with imprisonment of three to seven years. However, the schools could collect money voluntarily given to them. Though the collector prescribed fee upper limit, parent associations said there were ways by which managements could still fleece them. “The schools could collect fee for transport, food, boarding and other facilities, which are being exempted by the district administration,” Dharmender Agarwal, a parent of a student in city school, said.