New fee structure for nursery to intermediate courses to reduce burden on parents & students in Andhra Pradesh

The Andhra Pradesh State Government released new modified fee structure and regulations for all educational institutions. the gazettes 377 and 378 or the GO 53 and 54 have set the annual limits of various fees for all classes in primary, secondary and intermediate education. The new ordinances also make educational institutions liable for legal prosecution if they violate the government orders.

For several decades schools and colleges have found a way to take advantage of the loopholes in the old Education Acts by levying charges in the name of sports fee, laboratory fee, maintenance fee, donations and other forms of fee in addition to these fees schools would strong arm parents and students into buying uniforms, textbooks, notebooks and even stationery from school or a shop authorized by school. This has largely been ignored by most people as they considered as an essential charge for quality education. However in the recent times where many schools were found to be charging exorbitant prices and providing sub par facilities parents and students alike have been speaking out on occasion.

Parents who have been sending their children to a well known private school in Andhra Pradesh have alleged that the school charges rupees 30,000 per year as school fee for 10th standard and rupees 25000 for 9th standard and they are made to buy textbooks from the school itself. A parent has alleged that they paid over 10,000 rupees for textbooks and notebooks alone for their daughter who is currently in 10th standard. they allege that a notebook which costs 30 rupees in any shop is being sold for 65 rupees and the only difference between both are the logo printed on them with the school provided notebook having the school name and logo printed on them. Even book covers are sold with school logos and must be bought and used, allege the parents.

While one could expect the allegations to end here, it sadly doesn’t and includes the teachers in these private institutions in the exploited party. Many teachers are paid a pittance when compared to the workload they are put through. With all these allegations running wild the state government has finally put a stop to its silence and put forward new laws in place which caps the maximum annual fee collected by educational institutions, for classes nursery to 10th and intermediate courses according to the location of the institution.

The revised Fee structure is as follows-

Revised Fee Structure for Classes Nursery to 5th Standard for years 2021 to 2024.
Gram PanchayatsRs 10,000/- per annum
MunicipalityRs 11,000/- per annum
Municipal CorporationsRs 12,000 per annum
Revised Fee Structure for Classes 6th to 10th Standard for years 2021 to 2024.
Gram PanchayatsRs 12,000/- per annum
MunucipalityRs 15,000/- per annum
Municipal CorporationsRs 18,000/- per annum
Revised Fee Structure for Intermediate Colleges for MPC& BiPC for years 2021 to 2024.
Gram PanchayatRs 15,000/- per annum
MunucipalityRs 17,500/- per annum
Municipal CorporationsRs 20,000/- per annum
Revised Fee Structure for Intermediate Colleges for Non-Science, Maths Courses (CEC, HEC) for years 2021 to 2024.
Gram PanchayatRs 12,000/- per annum
MunucipalityRs 15,000/- per annum
Municipal CorporationsRs 18,000/- per annum

While the new rules explicitly state that schools and colleges cannot levy any additional charges and the maximum fee set by state government is inclusive of The Composite Tuition / Annual Fee including Prospectus & Registration, Admission Fee, Examination fee and Refundable Charges, Laboratory Fee, Sports Fee, Computer Laboratory Fee, Library Fee, Extracurricular FEE, Student Welfare Fund, Student Health Care Scheme, Study Tour, Alumni and any other similar fee related to academics except Hostel and Transporting Charges which have to be paid by student. The Hostel and Transportation charges have been set by the state government in the same gazette.

The new orders also prohibit schools from forcing students into buying academic necessities from school but it doesn’t prohibit the school from selling them. This is a loophole schools were known to exploit and is expected to continue. The state government also set rules regarding the usage of fees collected, setting 50% of the fee to be used to pay the faculty. This combined with the strict rules regarding book keeping will alleviate the financial difficulties of many teachers.

The state government also made the educational institutions liable for criminal prosecution if they are found to be violating the rules and made it mandatory to report the accounts to education department on a regular basis. After looking through the revisions to the fee structures and the strict rules it is yet to be seen if these measure will be efficient or if the educational institutions will find loopholes yet again.

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