Hyderabad, January 18: Former Minister & ex-Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir has alleged that the TRS Govt was not serious in regulating exorbitant fees being collected by the private educational institutions in the State.
“The decision taken by the Telangana Cabinet to constitute a Cabinet Sub-Committee and then draft a new law to regulate fees in private educational institutions is proof that it has failed to prevent the looting by private schools and colleges in the last seven years. It also means that the Admission and Fee Regulatory Committee constituted by the State Government was a farce and it could not stop extortion of huge amounts by private schools and colleges,” Shabbir Ali alleged in a media statement on Tuesday.
Shabbir Ali said that it would take at least six to eight months for the submission of a report by the Cabinet Sub-Committee and passing of law in the State Legislature. Somehow, Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao would ensure that the fee regulation gets delayed to the next academic year by giving one more year to the private institutions to extort money from the poor parents. “TRS Govt came to power in 2014 on the promise of giving KG to PG Free education. But it did nothing to fulfil the promise. The number of residential schools, originally started during the Congress regime, were increased and hype was created as if all students are studying in them. While in reality, only 10.9% students are studying in those schools which do not have proper infrastructure and facilities.
As against 43,293 schools in 2013-14, there are just 40,900 in 2019-20 (as per the Socio-Economic Outlook) which includes 10,501 private schools. The State Govt never explained the reasons for closure of thousands of schools and huge decrease in enrolment. He said of 60,06,344 students, as many as 32,24,173 (53.70%) are studying in 10,501 private schools while 19.84 lakh (33%) are in government and local body schools. Only 6,55,037 (10.9%) are studying in over-hyped welfare, residential and other State Government schools.
Shabbir Ali said that the TRS Govt shut down the schools, did not fill vacancies or upgraded the infrastructure only to benefit the private schools. Drama of fee regulation was enacted before the beginning of the academic year and no action was ever taken against any schools against their extortion. Since Assembly elections are coming closer, now the TRS Govt wants to enact a new drama of bringing a new legislation. He pointed out that a similar legislation by the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh Govt has hit a legal road block.
“When a separate law is needed to regulate the fee in private schools,” he asked while pointing out that the previous Congress regime regulated the fee by just issuing a GO.
Shabbir Ali pointed out that on 6th August 2009, the then Congress Govt issued a GO Ms No 91 to regulate the fee. It ordered that the Admission fee should not be more than Rs. 100 and Registration Fee just Rs. 500. It was directed in the GO that the Tuition fee shall be fixed based on the salaries paid to the teachers and staff, retirement benefits, running expenditure, infrastructure and facilities available including any Special fee, for any specific purpose and Development fee. Any activity which is not directly linked to education, if provided, shall be optional to the student and shall not be built as part of the tuition fee
Similarly, the Congress leader said that Prof. Tirupathi Rao Committee was formed which studied the subject and after six extensions submitted a report to the government on December 30, 2011. Despite legal cases, the guidelines to regulate fee in private schools were put in place. He said that the present TRS Govt was not implementing those guidelines. “CM KCR is not serious about regulating fees. He just wants to drag the issue on one pretext or the other so as to permit the private institutions to continue their businesses,” he said.
Shabbir Ali demanded that the TRS Govt must prove its honesty by implementing the proposed law from the coming academic year.