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Private schools push parents to buy costly books, uniforms

Last Updated on November 10, 2021 at 5:17 pm

After the commencement of new academic year, private schools in Kashmir allegedly forcing parents to purchase textbooks and school uniforms for students.

As per Greater Kashmir, private schools sometimes install the bookstalls within the school premises or books are avialble at specific books shops which leads to violation of set norms of the competent authorities. It has come to fore that such complaints come forward every year after the commencement of the new academic year.

As per the norms, the textbooks and the school uniforms should be kept available in the open market so that the parents could bargain the price with the shopkeeper.

However, the schools allegedly resort to illegal profiteering and keep the textbooks and uniforms available at specific shops. Parents allegedly complained that the School Education Department had failed to act against these erring schools accused of fleecing parents under the garb of providing education.

Sajad Ahmad, a parent from Srinagar said that a parent has to pay Rs 2500 to Rs 3000 to buy books for a kindergarten student from within the campus or these specified shops while the cost of the same book set in the open market is not more than Rs 1500.

He further said that schools prescribe textbooks of private publishers which are sold at excessive rates through a nexus between the booksellers, publishers, and the institution.

As per the rules, the schools cannot change the textbooks for at least three years but the majority of these schools change textbooks every year.

“When the textbooks remain unchanged for three years, the senior and junior students share their books every year which eases the burden on parents,” said Muhammad Waseem, a parent from Baramulla.

Principal Secretary School Education Department, Bishwajit Kumar Singh told Greater Kashmir that the schools would not be allowed to change the textbooks unless there is any change in the syllabus by CBSE or J&K Board of School Education.