School heads to impose fine on shopkeepers selling tobacco within 100 yards of institutes: Director

'We have established health and wellness institutions in all the educational institutions'
No tobacco near schools
No tobacco near schoolsFile/ GK

Srinagar, March 09: The Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) on Thursday stated that all the heads of the institutions are authorised to impose a fine from shopkeepers selling tobacco within 100 yards of the educational institution.

In this regard, the DSEK held a divisional level sensitization training programme for officers of School Education Department regarding the ill effects of the tobacco products and implementation of COTPA-2023.

The initiative has been taken to ensure tobacco free educational institutions across Kashmir.  

 “We have established health and wellness institutions in all the educational institutions which are monitored by the heads of the institutions,” DSEK Tasaduq Hussain Mir told reporters on the sidelines of the programme.

“We are taking suggestions from the health department and the guidelines, as per law will be implemented in all the schools to ensure that all schools are tobacco free,” he said.

He said the heads of the schools or the nodal teacher can impose a fine on the shopkeeper who will be found selling tobacco products within 100 yards of the school.

About the mushrooming growth of the coaching centres in Srinagar, the DSEK said the department has not registered any coaching centre noting that no fee was fixed for these institutes as well.

On charging of capitation fees or donation by the private schools at the time of kindergarten admissions, the DSEK said the action will be taken once the authorities receive any written complaint against the school.

“The parents can register their complaints with ZEO, CEO or the directorate in this regard,” he said.

About the delay in the implementation of the RTE Act under which the private schools have to reserve 25 percent admission for students from Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), the DSEK said the directorate has sought details from private schools to ascertain whether these institutions are giving admission to poor people or not.

“They sent the details and we will screen the details to ascertain if they provide free admission to students from EWS. If any violation is found then we will take action against them,” he said.

Meanwhile, he also said that private schools can charge only tuition fees from the students for January to March months, noting that the students did not use computers or libraries during these months.

“Session did not end in December but it will culminate after completion of exams. There are initial hiccups in it as this is the first year of transition. As per the previous system, the schools did not charge the fees for these months but now the session has changed,” the director told reporters on the sidelines of a function at the directorate.

“But the schools were closed and the students did not use computers or libraries, but vis-a-vis salary of the teachers, the parents have to pay the tuition fees for these months,” he said

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