Members cutting across party lines in the Legislative Council have asked the government to take stringent measures against corporate schools and colleges charging exorbitant fees and taking students and their parents for a ride without offering quality education.
Backing the Andhra Pradesh Education (Amendment) Bill, 2012 and the JNTU (Amendment) Bill, 2012 moved by Minister for Higher Education C. Damodara Rajanarasimha in the Council on Thursday, the members demanded that the government rein in the corporate management whose sole objective was to build business empires in the name of education.
Ms. Samanthakamani (TDP) deplored the neglect of government schools which was forcing the poor to admit their children to private schools.
On the other hand, private schools located in multi-storeyed buildings with no playground or recreational facilities are not educating children but merely training them to pass examinations.
The Education Department had no control over these institutions nor regulated the astronomical fee charged by them.
Mr. Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy (Congress) said that the on the lines of Admission and Fee Regulation Committee for monitoring engineering and professional colleges, committees be appointed to regulate the fees charged by schools and junior colleges.
The amended Education Act should be enforced to make upcoming engineering and other colleges provide infrastructure, faculty and academic standards as per AICTE norms, he demanded. Over 40,000 students were leaving the State due to poor academic standards in the bulk of 704 engineering colleges here.
Mr. Paladugu Venkat Rao, in a direct attack against corporate institutions like Chaitanya and Narayana asked how the government could permit one organisation to set up scores of colleges. “Are they in the vocation of imparting education or expanding business empires? Such elements are now entering politics too to perpetuate their agenda,” he said.
He threatened to lead an agitation if the government failed to stand up to these corporate entities.
Replying to the members, Mr. Rajanarasimha assured the House that the government had brought the Bill to improve standards and ensure accountability in private institutions. The Bill will empower the Task Force committees at the district, regional and State levels to inspect and monitor the functioning of private institutions as per prescribed norms.