Hyderabad schools told to not sell uniforms on school premises: Too late to be effective, say parents

Parents explain how schools typically recommend specific tailors for stitching uniforms ensuring they profit at least indirectly.

ByDeepika Pasham

Published Jun 01, 2024 | 9:13 AM Updated Jun 01, 2024 | 10:23 AM

Hyderabad private schools

Hyderabad District Educational Officer (DEO) issued an order to all schools within the Hyderabad jurisdiction on Thursday, 30 May instructing them to refrain from selling uniforms, shoes, and belts on school premises.

In light of the order, South First spoke to parents in Hyderabad who said that the order has come too late to be effective. The recent directive from the DEO applies to private schools – State, CBSE and ICSE schools in the city.

All the officials have been instructed to take action against those who do not comply with these rules.

Parents that SouthFirst spoke to explained how schools typically recommend specific tailors for stitching uniforms, ensuring they profit indirectly, even if it doesn’t occur on school premises. They also noted that admissions, book purchases, and uniform orders are usually finalized months in advance, making last-minute admissions uncommon.

Speaking about it, Hyderabad Schools Parents Association (HSPA) Member Gaddam Murali said, “The issue of schools doing business with anything and everything possible to profit from parents is statewide. The Commissioner of Education department must pass an order or intervene when a DEO issues an order after the school admissions are almost completed. There are bigger issues to rectify. The government schools of Telangana distribute free uniforms and DEOs should focus on how many students receive it.

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The absence of a dedicated Education Minister

“In the limits of Hyderabad district, there are more international schools compared to others and the admission process in these schools finished as early as December. Who will think about the lakhs of students who have already purchased, the order seems like an eyewash and not helpful in reality,” he added.

He explained that HSPA received many complaints that in the academic year 2024-2025, the fee increased by 15 to 20 percent in most schools. He also added that they face more problems since there is no dedicated Minister for the Education Department and if needed, they have to reach out to the CM, who is also the current Minister for the department.

K Sathish, a parent of two children studying in classes fifth and seventh said, “The school is situated in Hyderabad and since my kids’ kindergarten, we get uniforms from the school. We get a kit and for uniforms, shoes, and belts it costs us nearly 3000 to 4000. This year I had to buy it for my younger child from school as only they provide it.”

“If we ask for the pattern to get uniforms stitched outside, my child will look odd as the colour and stitching would differ from their classmates’. The order is late for schools and can be helpful only for a few who did not purchase uniforms until now,” he added.

Shruthi T, a parent of an eighth-grade girl explains, “I am a homemaker, and my husband is the only earning member of the family. We tried for admission to an international school two years ago but the fee structure was not affordable. I feel that extra things like uniforms and shoes add up to more than the fee. In private schools, we spend nearly one lakh for students in high school, so the order will be useful next year. We will save maybe 1500 and not more than this amount if schools give us an option to buy outside. Even then, there is the issue of finding dresses that match exactly the school uniforms on the outside.”

South First has reached out to Hyderabad DEO asking the motive behind the order, if any parents had raised complaints and if any school has been instructed until now. The article will be updated if we receive a response.

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(Edited by Neena)