Wednesday, September 23, 2020

St Andrews School and nine others found guilty for charging exorbitant fees

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Hyderabad: Ten private schools in Hyderabad have been found charging exorbitant fees under several categories against the government’s directive. These school managements were found violating Government Order (GO) 46, which was issued earlier on April 7.  

As per the GO, the schools were allowed to collect only tuition fees for the academic year 2020-21, in view of the COVID-19 lock down. 

The GO reads, “Keeping in view the hardship caused by lockdown due to COVID-19, the Telangana State Cabinet passed Resolution that schools shall not increase any kind of fees during academic year 2020-21 and shall charge only tuition fee on monthly basis till further orders.” 

However, violating the order, several schools have been found to include other expenses into the tuition fee category, thereby exploiting the parents.  

On Friday, St Andrews School in Bowenpally, was found guilty of collecting huge amounts of fee, by cheating the parents. Earlier in July, a series of protests were organised against the school management accusing them of charging exorbitant fees. The parents gathered outside the school, violating the lock down norms to register their protest. 

Subsequently, they filed a complaint with the authorities concerned, following which an inquiry was initiated. In the inquiry conducted by the Deputy Inspector R Suman, it was established that the school was collecting additional fees like annual fee, term fee, late fee, computer fee, teacher recruitment benefits, miscellaneous fee etc– and including them in the ‘tuition fee.’

“Due to the lock down, the government had permitted schools to collect only tuition fee from the parents, but these schools have been violating the government’s order and collecting other fees too. During our investigation, we have found that 10 such private schools were violating the government’s directive, and we issued show-cause notices to them,” said Hyderabad District Education Officer, Venkata Narasamma.

As per the GO, the action against non-compliance is cancellation of the school’s recognition, revoking the No Objection Certificate (NOC) granted for affiliation to other boards, and initiation of action against the school management under other relevant acts and rules. 

Similarly, several schools were found violating the GO in the neighbouring Rangareddy and Medchal districts. According to reports, at least 19 schools in Rangareddy district were issued notices for the violations.

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