SRINAGAR: The Directorate of School Education Kashmir has warned recognized private schools for compelling and recommending parents to purchase textbooks, stationery items and school uniforms from a particular shop.
Director of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) in a circular said that the directorate and its subordinate offices including Chief Education Office and Zonal Education Offices are receiving a number of complaints against the private schools regarding the purchase of textbooks stationery items, school uniforms etc, from a particular shop which is a cause of concern among the parents and the society as general has raised eyebrows against this practice.
The director said that on the contrary, the books prescribed by these schools should have been available in the open market.
“There are some more complaints from parents wherein it is said that a large number of books are being prescribed by the private school authorities for primary classes, which unnecessarily burdens the tender minds and mars the creativity and other 21st century skills among students as envisaged in NEP-2020,” reads the circular.
It also said that some private schools are forcing parents to purchase extra books for classes 6th, 7th and 8th in addition to the books prescribed by JKBOSE which amounts to an extra burden on the learning of students and goes against the recommendations of National Education Policy 2020 which advocates age appropriate burden free learning of students.
Stating the subjects, such as, Computer Studies, Moral Education, and General Knowledge need to be infused across subject areas and other activities in the school without additional textbooks in sync with the School Bag Policy 2020.
“The schools that prescribe additional books which are not prescribed by the Board to which the schools affiliated not only flout the recommendations envisaged in Rule 8A of J&K School Education Rules, 2010 and revised guidelines of School Bag Policy, 2020 released by Department of School Education and Literacy Ministry of Education, Government of India, but also poses an extra financial burden on parents,” DSEK said.
Resorting to such illegal practices by a few private schools, the director said that it was against the ethics and norms or guidelines issued by the Government from time to time.
“Henceforth, all private schools shall notify through their websites the list of subjects and the books prescribed by the Board to which they are affiliated and no other subject or book shall be made mandatory,” DSEK said.
It also said that under no circumstances, any school shall ask parents to buy books from a particular bookshop.
DSEK enjoined upon all the privately recognized schools to desist from compelling the parents to purchase books, and uniforms from any particular shops and change books thereof. “Further, parents should be given wider choice to purchase books or uniforms from the open market.”
“Any deviation from these instructions, if noticed shall be viewed seriously and action will be taken as per the provisions of law which inter-alia includes the recognition of schools and withdrawal of the Managing Body also,” reads the circular.
“All Chief Education Officers shall constitute special monitoring teams involving cluster heads, Zonal Education Officers to verify the complaints received on account of sale of books and uniforms by the private schools/prescribing additional books or pressing parents for purchase from any particular shop. Action taken in this regard shall be submitted to this Directorate on a monthly basis,” DSEK said.