One of the main budgets that every family does for the year is for the children’s education. This comes right on top of the priority list, mostly after housing and household requirements. Many parents even seek financial assistance or dip into their savings, to ensure a sound education of their children. However, recently, there seems to be some distress caused to such families by revenue yearning educational establishments. Disregarding orders from the State’s educational authorities, a few private schools in Vizag are placing a burden on parents by selling stationery to them at outrageous prices and leaving no opportunity to score a profit.
Earlier this year, as the new academic year had begun, certain private schools had hiked their bi-monthly fees by 25% straight away; claiming that recruitment, development, and landscaping activities are being taken up for the betterment of students. This fee hike had resulted in a lot of unrest among the parents. Now, the schools have made it mandatory for the parents to buy their children’s textbooks, school uniforms, and necessary stationery items, for the entire academic year, either from their respective schools or certain outlets affiliated to those schools.
The commercial impositions, set by some schools in Vizag, on basic needs have become quite unreasonable. Moreover, some schools have been prescribing textbooks from certain publications only. These are mostly unavailable in the open market. Other schools have made it compulsory to purchase the stationery, for the entire year, at once. The compulsion was made to look like a time-saving option for the parents.
According to the Right to Education (RTE) Act,2009 the collection of a huge amount of fees and the forcible purchase of goods like books, bags, stationery and other items from the school amounts to a violation of a child’s rights. Everyone has a right to purchase the items at a fair price and not be forced to overpay because that is one of the fundamental features of living in a democracy.
Parents should be allowed to buy from vendors of their choice and also schools should not be selling the mentioned items above the MRP price. To keep a check on the fee structure and other activities in the educational institutions, every district should have a District Fee Regulatory Committee. In Vizag, such a committee has not been formed yet. The absence of which makes it hard for the parents to address issues pertaining to their children’s education and growth. With the development of the city, acing its pace, the formation of such a committee is another milestone to be achieved.