Published: 21st August 2019
HSPA threatens contempt case against government over school fee issue
Parents have sought details like - If checks have been carried out to see if any school has deposited increased fee in a separate account, in how many such schools checks have been done
Unhappy that the government has not just put school fee regulation issue on the backburner, parents have alleged that it has also ignored the directives passed by the Telangana High Court with regards to fee collection, amounting to contempt of Court. They have demanded urgent corrective action from the government and said that failure to do so might force Hyderabad School Parents Association (HSPA) to initiate proceedings for Contempt of Court against the government.
In its order passed on January 22, last year the HC while allowing schools to increase the fees for the academic year 2018-19 had directed them to adhere to two conditions namely, deposit the increased fee in a separate bank account and that this amount would not be withdrawn, until further orders. In the absence of any further direction from the court, parents are demanding an update on the implementation of these directives from the government. Parents have sought details like - If checks have been carried out to see if any school has deposited increased fee in a separate account, in how many such schools checks have been done, a number of schools violating this directive, increased amount of fee collected in the separate account and if any amount has been withdrawn.
"We raised this issue of unbridled profiteering in private schools of our state for nearly 10 years now. The government, however, has been doing precious little other than forming committees and delaying any concrete action. The last such committee formed under the chairmanship of professor Tirupathi Rao has also submitted its final report more than a year back, but the government is yet to act upon its recommendations," said Venkat Sainath K, joint secretary, HSPA.
In fact, the report has still not been made public. Another parent rued that though the Court orders were issued before the commencement of the 2018-19 academic year, it still has not been implemented a year later in the ongoing academic session. "The Schools have issued fee challans for Term 2 also and yet, we have not seen any action from the government either to stop the fee loot or even to pursue the pending cases with any seriousness," said Pavan Reddy, also a member of the association.
Meanwhile, HSPA has said that in case the government still does not respond or fails to give a "satisfactory response and assurance", the parents association "will not hesitate to go to Court again." "The government and the all-powerful schools' lobby may be able to delay justice in courts but they shall not be able to deny justice to the lakhs of parents of the state reeling under the burden of incessant fee hikes each year, " said a statement issued by HSPA.