Members of the Federation of Unaided Schools Associations of Andhra Pradesh on Friday appealed to the State government to revoke GO 53 pertaining to fixation of fee rates in private unaided schools and junior colleges in the State by the AP School Education Regulatory and Monitory Commission and amend GO 1 on implementation of reforms in schools.
At a press conference, president of AP Private Unaided Schools Managements’ Association (APPUSMA) M.V. Ramachandra Reddy called GO 53 “very unfair” towards private budget schools that catered to the education needs of the low-income households and were the only source of livelihood for many educated unemployed persons. “These budget schools, to some extent, help alleviate teacher unemployment issue,” he said.
He said a handful of corporate schools with commercial interests were the real culprits as far as collection of hefty fees was concerned. The federation appealed to the regulatory panel to put private budget schools in separate category and frame separate set of rules for them.
Referring to the draft GO on reforms in school education, Mr. Ramachandra Reddy said its implementation in entirety would result in closure of 85 % of private budget schools, creating a wide gap in the education sector.
He said GO 1 should be amended in a manner that 50 % of the fee amount should be spent on payment of salaries and other benefits like ESI and EPF to the staff, 40 % towards building rents, electricity charges and other maintenance expenses and 10 % should be allocated for development of school assets.
He said the rates fixed for annual fees, transport charges and fee for boarding schools were anything but practical. “No two schools have common features, but ironically, all schools are being forced to follow common rule which cannot be justified,” he argued.
Maintaining that fee structure should finalised based on the facilities and infrastructure available in a private budget school, he pointed to the fact that the government decisions would directly impact the lives of nearly 10 lakh teachers working in the private sector.
Giving a break-up of the schools in the State, the members pointed out that there were a total of 44,639 government schools with a student strength of 43,56,643 against 14,526 private schools with a student strength of 27,84,274. Similarly, there total 1,972 aided schools with 1,97,291 students studying in them.
Mr. Reddy said the teaching fraternity was already in dire straits due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and implementation of the proposed measures would deal a further blow to them.
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