Parents of school-going children alleged the private school managements were compelling them to buy books along with stationeries and uniforms from the school counters or shops. There are no compelling reasons for it and could be easily done away with.
One of the arguments which may be propelled by the schools is that they provide books and stationery kits to parents for their convenience. While there are opponents and supporters of the arguments, Director School Education Kashmir has warned all private recognised schools with de-recognition and withdrawal of NOC for “compelling” parents to purchase books or uniforms from any particular shop.
The DSEK said what parents have been saying all along: “Private schools are still indulging in selling books/uniforms in the school premises and even parents are being forced to purchase books from some specific private shops.
Besides, the DSEK said “the exercise of replacing existing books with the new one is becoming habitual on part of recognised unaided private schools which has been viewed very seriously.”
While the DSEK said the action was against “instructions already issued on the subject vide series of communications issued earlier,” it is also admission on part of the authorities’ failure to check it in advance.
While the DSEK has now asked private recognised schools to desist from compelling the parents for purchasing books or uniforms from any particular shop and change of books, the lack of action is writ large. This inability on part of the authorities to act in advance has encouraged private schools to indulge in practice which the government admits was wrong.
While the DSEK has ordered concerned to make books and other items be available in the open market, it has warned private schools against any deviation with de-recognition and withdrawal of NOC.
The DSEK has asked all Chief Education Officers to constitute special monitoring teams headed by Deputy Chief Education Officer or Senior Most Zonal Education Officer to verify the complaints received on account of sale of books or uniforms by the Private Schools, pressing parents for purchase from any particular shop and replacing existing books with the new one “thus adding more burden on the parents during present circumstances in the valley.”
One hopes that action is taken against the erring and that the fresh instructions are not confined to circulars.