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Congress launches drive against ‘commercialisation of education’

Hyderabad: The Congress party launched a campaign against the ‘commercialisation of education’ in Telangana State on the occasion of birth anniversary of Moualna Abul Kalam Azad, the first Education Minister of independent India, which is also celebrated as National Education Day.

Former Minister and ex-Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir launched the signature campaign organised by TPCC Minorities Department Chairman Shaik Abdullah Sohail by signing a big poster at a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan on Monday.

TPCC General Secretary Md Afzaluddin, TPCC Spokesperson Syed Nizamuddin, Hyderabad Minorities Dept Chairman Sameer Waliullah, Rangareddy Chairman Mohammed Riyaz and other senior leaders were present on the occasion.

The poster carried a quote of Moulana Azad which read, “”Every individual has a right to an education that will enable his faculties and live a full human life.”

“Many private institutions have turned education into a business. Poor and middle-class families are unable to give education to their children due to exorbitant fees, donations, costly study material and other expenses. Government of Telangana is not taking any measures to regulate fee or stop this commercialisation of education.

Therefore, on the occasion of Moulana Azad’s birth anniversary (National Education Day), we take a resolve to stop commercialisation of education. We demand State Government to constitute a regulatory authority to prevent private institutions from collecting exorbitant amounts from parents,” read the message above the signature column.

Speaking on the occasion, Shabbir Ali said that school education in Hyderabad was costliest in India compared to any other metro cities in India. While annual school fee in Hyderabad ranges from Rs. 70,000 to Rs. 5 lakh, it does not exceed Rs. 1.5 lakh in cities like Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Chandigarh and Pune.

He said many States have regulated the private schools to put a ceiling on annual fee and other costs. However, he alleged that the TRS Government has been doing nothing to stop the private educational institutions from collecting exorbitant fee.

Shabbir Ali said that the previous Congress Government had issued a GO Ms No 91 in August 2009 to regulate fee in private schools. However, he said that the GO and many other guidelines which were not struck down by the court remained unimplemented under TRS regime.

He alleged that there was no control over private institutions in Telangana. “Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao never held a review meeting on the issue. Nearly 31 lakh or almost 52% children are studying in private schools in Telangana.

KCR is neither improving the facilities in government schools nor taking any measures to regulate the fee in private institutions. Consequently, thousands of poor and middle class families are unable to send their children to schools. The school dropout rate has increased after TRS came to power,” he said.

Stating that since schools start issuing admission notifications in November, Shabbir Ali said Moulana Azad’s birth anniversary was the right occasion to launch the campaign.

Meanwhile, Abdullah Sohail informed that the Congress workers would collect nearly 10 lakh signatures from all across the Telangana State in the next two months and they would be submitted to the Governor seeking action. He said besides signature campaign, an awareness drive would also be launched through social media. (INN)

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