Hyderabad: After books, uniforms, and stationery, few schools in the city have now started selling electronic gadgets and making it mandatory to buy them from schools to access online classes.
While one such school is forcing parents to buy a tablet and pay six months fee in one go, others are asking parents to buy laptops and phones to attend classes, failing which schools are threatening to award low grades/marks to students.
“A couple of days back, we received a message from the school saying that they would start e-learning through a tablet. When I enquired further, the schools asked me to pay Rs 25,000 towards fee, out of which Rs 7,500 is for the tablet. They said that unless I pay the entire amount, the tablet will not be given to my son,” said a parent, whose son is studying in Class 8 in a private school, which has branches in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The parent said that the tablet comes with pre-loaded content and software, said to be mandatory to attend classes and appear for exams.
The issue is not just with private schools, but Kendriya Vidyalayas too as they too are advising parents to buy laptops if they don’t want their kids to attend classes on mobile phones. “When we raised a complaint about young children not being able to handle phones to attend classes, the headmaster simply advised us to buy laptops. I have three children, how is it possible for me to buy three laptops in the current scenario,” questioned a parent, whose children are studying Class 2 and Class 3 at a KV in the city.
Members of Telangana Recognized Schools Managements Association (TRSMA), meanwhile, said that if parents are unable to buy electronic gadgets, they are helping them get loans. “We are connecting parents with financiers so that they can buy electronic gadgets for their children to attend virtual classes,” said S Srinivas Reddy of TRSMA. Education department officials, meanwhile, said that they are yet to receive any complaint from parents about schools forcing them to buy gadgets.