Education should not become a business: APSERMC Chairman – Times of India

AMRAVATI: Education should not be a business and the Andhra Pradesh School Education Regulatory and Monitoring Commission (APSERMC) will take action against institutions that charge extra fees without basic facilities, an official said on Thursday.

APSERMC chairman R Kant Rao said, “Education should not be a business and the commission will take action against private educational institutions that are charging extra fees.

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On Thursday, for the first time in the history of the state, Rao spoke to the media along with other members of the commission after setting a new limited fee structure for private schools and private unaided junior colleges.

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The commission has limited school fees from Rs 10,000 to Rs 18,000 per annum from nursery to class X in three classes depending on the type of location.

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Similarly, it limits the intermediate course fee from Rs 12,000 to Rs 20,000 per annum for various courses, including hostel and coaching fees for both school and junior colleges.

Hostel fees have been capped at Rs 18,000 to Rs 24,000 per annum while it has a cap of Rs 20,000 per year for coaching students for competitive exams in intermediate courses.

Rao said these fee structures will remain good for three years and have reached as per the instructions of the state government.

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Chief Secretary B Rajasekhara recently mentioned that some corporate intermediate colleges are extorting more than Rs 5 lakh for two-year intermediate courses, clubbing competitive exam coaching and other meager facilities.

The APSERMC Chairman highlighted that there are wide differences between Andhra and other states in terms of school and junior college fee structure.

“Without informing the fees, the private educational institutions are charging extra fees from the students. Other states have notified the fees of the private institutions but no one in Andhra Pradesh has bothered to do so for the last 20 years.”

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In this situation, the commission has taken necessary steps to control fees in these educational institutions, he said.

The chairman said the commission has directed to reduce tuition fees by 50 per cent by 2020.

He asserted that in case of arbitrary increase in fees of private educational institutions, the commission would regulate them and recommend further steps to the state government.

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He noted that parents have a right to know about fees and have been invited to complain to the commission if the fee rules are violated by demanding more fees than the fee structure prescribed by the commission.

He shared the toll free number 9150381111 to lodge their complaint. “As a result of the fee structure announced by the new government, 80 per cent of the private educational institutions will not face any problem. Last year, the commission inspected 360 schools and found that they were charging extra fees without basic facilities.”

The regulator has recommended action against 120 colleges for non-compliance with government regulations.

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Rao said these NGOs need to share detailed information like fee structure, availability of playgrounds, monthly salaries of teachers and others.

All these schools and junior colleges also have to display the commission-determined fee structures mainly through their bulletin boards.

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