Jammu, Apr 7: Parents Association Jammu has strongly condemned the overcharging of fees and forcing parents to buy books from select shops.
“We raised this issue last week. However, the Directorate of School Education, Jammu has not taken any action against the private schools who have been indulging in violating orders of the government,” the president of Parents Association, Jammu, Amit Kapoor told Greater Kashmir.
Kapoor said that “Parents contacted us and we too raised their concerns before the concerned authorities. However, no action was taken except issuance of some orders.”
He said that it was after the pressure and resentment among the parents, the Directorate of School Education Jammu issued orders on April 6. But no action as yet has been taken, he added.
He said that “The private schools have also overcharged annual fees to the parents and you can see the concerns of the parents on social media.”
“The NCERT books have been recommended for classes 6th to 12th, but these private schools are violating this too. The shopkeepers specified by the schools give a proper set of books. Despite government orders, some of the prominent private schools have been allegedly selling books at their premises,” he added.
He also mocked the education department’s app which according to him does not work for the purpose it was created.
Kapoor has also raised questions on of the DSEJ’s tele- counseling helpline “Ayo Baat Karein” has received a number of complaints on a daily basis about this issue. He said that it was a clear eye wash and shows a deep-rooted nexus.
Pertinently, on April 6, the Directorate of School Education, Jammu had issued instructions regarding the charging of tuition fee by the recognized unaided private schools.
The circular prohibited private schools from mandating purchases from particular shops, imposing additional fees beyond tuition fees. The Director of School Education Jammu, Ravi Shankar has issued a circular regarding complaints against private schools for the purchase of textbooks, stationery items, and school uniforms from a particular shop.
“Such practices have been observed to be financial burden for parents, particularly when purchasing books that are not prescribed by the Board to which the school is affiliated,” the order reads.
The circular has stated that such practices go against the ethical guidelines issued by the government and that private schools must notify through their websites of the list of subjects and prescribed books by the affiliated Board. Private schools are not allowed to make any subject or book mandatory and cannot ask parents to buy books from a particular bookshop.
The circular further reads, “It is once again enjoined upon all the private recognized schools that they desist from compelling the parents for purchasing books/uniforms from any particular shops and change of books thereof. Further in order to have a wider choice for the parents for purchase of books /uniforms, the same should be made available in the open market. Any deviation from these instructions, if noticed, shall be viewed seriously.”
To ensure compliance, DSEJ has directed all Chief Education Officers to constitute special monitoring teams “headed by Deputy Chief Education Officers /Zonal Education Officers to verify complaints regarding the sale of books/uniforms by private schools or pressing parents to make purchases from any particular shop.” “Any deviation from the instructions will be viewed seriously, and action will be taken in accordance with the law, which may include de-recognition of schools or withdrawal of NOC.”