Education Department to stop private schools from 'illegal profiteering'

The school education department has tightened the noose on the private schools over the sale of uniforms and textbooks to students within school premises.

The government has also barred private schools from keeping text books and uniform of students available at specific shops.

The move comes after complaints were pouring in against the private schools for resorting to “illegal profiteering” while selling textbooks and uniforms within the school premises.

In wake of the complaints, a circular has been issued by the Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) directing all private schools to refrain from these practices and keep uniforms and textbooks available in the open market.

“It has come to the notice of this directorate that some private recognised schools are still indulging in selling books and uniforms inside school premises forcing parents to purchase books from some specific shops,” a DSEK circular reads.

The department also warned the private schools over its practice of replacing existing textbooks with new ones every year.

“The exercise of replacing existing books with new one has becoming habitual on part of recognised unaided private schools which has been viewed very seriously,” the circular reads. “The practice is against the instructions already issued by the competent authorities.”

The DSEK circular read, “It is once again enjoined upon all the private recognised schools that they should desist from compelling parents from purchasing books and uniforms from any particular shop and change of books thereof.”

Over the years, the private schools started a trend of selling textbooks and uniforms to students at exorbitant rates, thus resorting to “illegal profiteering”.

The instructions and orders issued by the department in this regard saw poor implementation on the ground, putting parents and students at the receiving end.

Now a fresh circular has been issued wherein private schools have been barred to resort to this type of “illegal profiteering”.

“In order to have a wider choice for the parents, purchase of books and uniforms should be allowed from the open market,” the circular reads.

“Any deviation from these instructions, if noticed, will be viewed seriously and action will be taken as per the provisions of the law which may include de-recognition and withdrawal of NoC,” it reads.

The department has instructed the Chief Education Officers (CEOs) to constitute special monitoring teams headed by a deputy CEO to verify the complaints received on account of sale of books and uniforms by the schools.

The department said that the schools should not be allowed to press parents for purchase from any particular shop and replace existing books with new one, burdening parents during the present circumstances in the Valley.

“Action taken in this regard should be submitted to this directorate on a weekly basis,” it reads.