HSPA files FIR against 4 erring schools for excessive fee

The Hyderabad Schools Parents’ Association (HSPA) started filing FIRs against schools at police stations across the city from Wednesday, in an attempt to restrain schools from charging extremely high tuition fees.

The first complaints were filed against Sloka, the Hyderabad Waldorf School (Jubilee Hills), Jubilee Hills Kindergarten School, Phoenix Greens School, Gachibowli and Green Gables School, Madhapur, at Jubilee Hills, Raidurgam, and Madhapur police stations.

The parents’ association claimed that in spite of issuing several warnings to schools about the illegal gathering of capitation fees, the practice remained unchanged and the school authorities remained uncooperative. Hence, they have now started to file police complaints against them. Since the schools are located over several parts of the city, the association could only file four complaints on the first day.

The parents’ association presented the evidence of capitation fee collection in the form of printed fee receipts which mentioned the fee structure along with the copies of relevant government orders and government circulars. According to government’s orders, a school cannot charge more than 5,000 on one-time fees, under any name whatsoever, at the time of admission.

This step has been welcomed by parents as most of them have faced this issue at some point. Taking advantage of their reputations, parents have pointed out that schools charge fee under various reasons such as teacher training fund, one-time activity corpus fund, etc.

The HSPA had submitted a list of 14 schools to the Commissioner and the Director of School Education and District Education Officers on December 15 and demanded immediate action. Following this, a number of schools have brought down their fees from around 1 lakh to the said limit of 5000. The HSPA has also appealed to all citizens to file complaints in their respective police stations against any school charging higher admission fees in their locality.

Reputed schools all over the country seem to be taking this advantage and have been collecting humongous amount of money under various clauses from parents. A similar incident was reported a few months back in Noida, when the education department (Meerut Zone) had directed Delhi Public School, Sector 132, Noida to stop charging fees for any reason other than those prescribed by the state government. It also warned the school of “action per rules” if it fails to execute the rules.

This increased awareness among parents is definitely worth applauding. However, it is now high time for the government authorities to take stern action towards the defaulters as only that will discourage the schools from following this corrupt practice.

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