Inquiry against private schools for prescribing textbooks by private publishers: DSEK

Srinagar, March 29: The government has ordered an inquiry to probe the complaints received against several private schools in the Valley for prescribing textbooks published by private publishers in addition to those recommended by the Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education (JKBOSE).The inquiry has been ordered after complaints were received by the government from parents and students that private schools were prescribing both textbooks of private publishers as well as JKBOSE textbooks thus overburdening the students.

The parents complained that they were being forced by the private schools to buy expensive textbooks published by private publishers in addition to the textbooks recommended by JKBOSE.In this regard, the Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) has written to all the Chief Education Officers (CEO) to probe into the matter.

   

“The department has received various complaints from the parents alleging therein that some of the private schools are asking the parents to purchase books of private publishers instead of or in addition to the books prescribed by the JKBOSE,” the official communication read.The Directorate has stated that the practice has been viewed seriously by the authorities.”You are requested to conduct an in-depth enquiry into the matter along with your Zonal Education Officers (ZEOs) and furnish the action taken report to this Directorate within a period of three days positively. The matter may be treated as most urgent,” the communication stated.

JKBOSE has directed all the private schools to prescribe textbooks published by the Board, for classes 6th to 8th from the current academic session.The Board has warned the private schools of action if the directions will not be implemented on ground.

Already, all the JKBOSE affiliated schools prescribe JKBOSE published text books for students from class 9th to 10th.However, some private schools, in violation of rules, have prescribed both, JKBOSE and textbooks of private publishers to the students from class 6th to 8th.In one such example, the Saint Joseph’s Higher Secondary School Baramulla has prescribed 16 textbooks to the students of class 6th. These include seven JKBOSE textbooks while nine textbooks are from private publishers.Meanwhile, the DSEK move has been welcomed by parents and students who have been struggling to cope with the high cost of education.

The parents accused the private schools of taking advantage of the situation and making a profit at the expense of students and their families.”I am glad that the government has finally taken notice of the situation. Private schools should not be allowed to force students to buy expensive textbooks published by private publishers. It is a violation of our rights and puts unnecessary financial burden on families,” said a parent.The authorities at JKBOSE have also expressed concern over the matter and urged private schools to strictly adhere to the prescribed syllabus and textbooks.”The parents should mail us their grievances and appropriate action will follow in this regard,” a JKBOSE official said.

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