Over the past five years, around 1050 schools under private management have closed down in Telangana. According to the Department of School Education statistics, the sharpest dip in numbers occurred when 742 private schools shut down between 2019 and 2021. In Telangana, around 27.5% pursuing elementary education study in private schools.
The President of Telangana Recognised Schools Management Association, Uma Maheshwara Rao says that around 350 schools have closed down in Hyderabad alone or are on the verge of shutting down. This is because parents are unwilling to pay the fee for online classes. He adds that schools under rented buildings are the worst affected.
In the pandemic years, Warangal Urban has lost 50 schools, Medchal lost 53 private schools, Khammam lost 44 schools, showing that the shutdowns have affected many towns and villages.
A huge chunk of the schools that have closed down is the one that catered to the aspirational class with a monthly fee in the range of ₹600 and ₹2000 per month per student.
The schools' monarchial rules are also responsible for their downfall. Extortion of school fees in the name of online classes, school uniforms, and other miscellaneous expenses is also one of the key reasons for the parents showing a cold shoulder towards the shutdown of schools.
Many parents were seen cribbing that if the government schools functioned in a better way, they would have sent their kids there. But now they don't have a choice.
Some schools have adopted multi-pronged strategies to stay afloat to survive in these hard times. They have made the class timings staggered so that children sharing a single smartphone can attend online classes.
With the closure of the schools in many areas of Hyderabad and other towns, many parents had to shell out almost double the fee to enroll their children in other schools.