The new fee structure announced by the State government has added to the woes of the private schools, which are already finding it difficult to run the institutions amidst the pandemic situation.
With losses mounting and future appearing bleak, some of the schools have already closed down, while the others are managing the show with a glimmer of hope.
Shocked by the new fee structure, the private school associations, moved the court and hope they would get a reprieve.
On the other hand, the decision of the State government is being welcomed by parents. The funds being given by the State government to students in the name of ‘Amma Vodi’ scheme are going directly into the accounts of the mothers but in most cases, they are being spent on domestic needs instead of paying the fees, say private school managements.
Some of the managements admit that the big schools are responsible for the present situation. They were charging exorbitant fees in the name of providing various facilities but are not even providing quality education. Parents seem to be content with the brand of the school rather the output, says a budget school correspondent, on condition of anonymity.
He says that the funds under 'Amma Vodi' scheme should be directly credited to the school to ensure that the children continue their education. He, however, says that the school fee prescribed by the government would force us to hire teachers at low salaries and the impact would be on students. The mid-range schools would be the worst-affected as they are located in rented buildings in premium areas and have to pay high rents on buildings and higher salaries to teachers, says another educationist, who runs a school in the city.
“I appreciate the decision of the government in improving amenities in government schools and providing the underprivileged sections with quality education. But, the existing government schools cannot accommodate all the children of small private schools, if they are closed,” he says.
"The government has also fixed the budget allocation to be made by the schools under various heads like rent and salaries of teachers. Education, which has become the most neglected sector is one of the highest employers, with around eight lakh unemployed graduates working as teachers in private schools, which are playing a major role in the promotion of literacy,” says the AP Private Schools Association (APPSA) chairman K.S.N. Murthy.