Srinagar: With the government failing time and again to regulate the functioning of the private schools, the schools have once again violated norms and are directing the parents to procure books for their wards from the school owned ‘book shops’.
Notably, the private schools have asked the parents to purchase the text books of lower classes from their respective school premises. The move has however, agitated parents who claim that books provided inside school premises were sold at exorbitant rates.
“Several schools have installed their own ‘book stalls’ inside the school premises and are forcing the parents to purchase books and copies from the stall,” said a group of parent.
Saint Joseph’s higher secondary school is one such school which has resorted to illegal profiteering by asking parents to purchase books from the school itself.
“A single book set costs over Rs 3000 for a student of 1st primary. They have made it a business here,” said Muhammad Hussain, a parent.
He said the parents after reaching the school premises couldn’t afford to purchase books and left disappointed.
“They are openly fleecing the parents and authorities are turning a blind eye to this issue,” he said.
The development comes at a time when the school fee fixation committee has already directed all the private schools including those having CBSE affiliation, not to provide school books and uniforms to students from premises and give freedom to parents to purchase it out of their own choice.
“But it seems these private schools are above law and they don’t bother about any government directions,” said a group of parents.
Besides Saint Joseph’s, Doon International school Srinagar, has made it mandatory for parents to purchase 14 books and 13 copies besides other stationary items which costs above Rs 3300 for a student of second primary.
“This is a shame for the government as they have totally failed to tame these private schools. Parents are being fleeced unnecessarily,” said Muhammad Amir, a parent from Srinagar.
Pertinently, the government last year had asked all the private schools to adopt JK Board of School Education (BOSE) syllabus for students in lower classes.
However, the order remained confined to papers only.
Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK) G N Itoo said the chief education officers in every district will constitute a team of officials to keep a check on selling of text books by private schools in their campuses.
“We will not allow them to sell books at exorbitant rates. Parents should also register their complaint with the competent authorities,” Itoo said.