Published: 22nd January 2021
Left with dirty classrooms, private schools in Hyderabad set to charge students for sanitisation
Many students have not paid fees. Providing hand sanitisers and maintaining social distancing is not easy for small schools in the city, the management said
Abandoned schools and classrooms in the last ten months have accumulated a thick layer of grime. Cleaning and sanitisation of schools classrooms for Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), protocol, is not an easy task. GHMC is helping government schools be sanitised before reopening but private school managements are likely to charge an additional fee for it. The private school's managements told, State Education Minister Sabitha Indira Reddy, that following SOP would be, a difficult task.
Many students have not paid fees. Providing hand sanitisers and maintaining social distancing is not easy for small schools in the city, the management said. Later, it is learned from Hyderabad Schools Parents' Association (HSPA) that, a few parents have got SMS messages for fee alerts with an additional charge for sanitisation.
"We knew this would happen. The schools will charge us an additional fee in some way or the other. Besides, the GO:46 is of no use. For schools are now collecting entire fee as tuition fee and are not giving parents a breakdown of fees," said Venkat Sainath, HSPA, Joint Secretary. "We urged the minister to give clarity on GO:46 that only allows the collection of tuition fees. We also suggested her that instead of this government can clearly ask managements to reduce the fee by 50 per cent, until the pandemic subsides," he added.
"Private schools managements have said that it would be difficult for them to maintain sanitisation. But we have not yet allowed anyone to charge an extra fee for sanitisation, Special Chief Secretary to Government, Education," Chitra Ramachandran told Express.
Denying the confusion about GO:46 aroused by the parents and school managements, she said, "Speculation has created the problem." She also refused to comment if any modifications are made in the GO:46 for better implementation.
Meanwhile, many colleges in the city are changing their fee receipt format to get away with fee breakdown. Some of the colleges are only giving manual handwritten receipts to students paying fees. Other colleges are collecting the fee in a lump sum, as tuition fee without showing fee breakdown.
"Earlier we had a computerised receipt with the proper breakdown of infrastructure fee, sports fee, lab and library fee. But this semester when I paid the fee I only got a handwritten note that says I have paid the fee with the college stamp on it," Mohan Raj, an undergraduate student from a private college in the city said.
Students from many private colleges have told express that they are being forced to pay the fee for services such as libraries, computer labs, studios and also for sports and infrastructure, the facilities which they have not used.
"Why should I be paying for the services that I have not been using. My father is getting paid half salary, yet I still had to pay the full fee as the college despite not being run is collecting the same amount of fee," Nahida Ahmed, an undergraduate from a private college in the city.