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Private schools in Jammu force parents to buy books, uniforms from “specific shops”

Last Updated on March 25, 2021 at 12:00 pm

Many private schools of Jammu are forcing parents to buy books, uniforms and stationery items from particular shops even though the Directorate of School Education Jammu (DSEJ) has repeatedly ordered schools to avoid doing the same.

Many private schools have been asking parents to buy books and uniforms from particular designated shops which violates DSE Jammu’s order. It has been reported that a school in Janipur area of Jammu city has asked parents to buy books from a particular shop. Stationery items have also to be purchased from the same shop. Similarly, another renowned school has also done the same.

The DSEJ has passed many orders directing schools to stay clear of this malpractice. One such order was issued in 2018 which says that it has come to the department’s notice that some private schools are either selling school uniforms/books within school premises or having a deal with designated private shops and then forcing parents to purchase these items from pre-determined shops. The department advised such schools to refrain from these activities as no other alternative is provided to parents.

Order further read that the department is constituting a four-member committee to keep a check on this unethical practice. This committee was to be headed by Chief Education Officer (CEO) as Chairman, Deputy CEO, senior-most principal of Higher Secondary and Assistant Director of CEO.

A parent said that books bought from market with many options or online shopping platforms put a reasonable price tag on their products while purchase of books, stationery, uniforms from designated shops is a very costly affair. Since parents don’t have options so they have to spend huge amounts on these purchases.

A DSEJ official said that this is not a case with one or two schools but most of the private schools across Jammu province take use of such unethical practices when admissions are going on. The authorities which have responsibility to monitor such practices have largely avoided taking actions to punish them. He demanded that concerned administrative secretary should look into the matter.

Chief Education Officer Jammu Vijay Kumar Sharma said that they have instructed schools to not force parents to buy any item from any particular shop. He said that they will take strict action against those schools which are violating guidelines and can even cancel recognition of the school.