DSEJ issues circular against private schools for financial exploitation of parents

Circular prohibits private schools from mandating purchases from particular shops, imposing additional fees beyond tuition fees

JAMMU: Director School Education Jammu, Ravi Shankar has issued a circular regarding complaints against private schools for the purchase of text books, stationery items, and school uniforms from a particular shop. Such practices have been observed to be financially burdening for parents, particularly when purchasing books that are not prescribed by the Board to which the school is affiliated.

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 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 book shop.

The circular further reads, “It is once again enjoined upon all the private recognised 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 and action will be taken as per the provisions of law which inter-alia includes de-recognition of schools/withdrawal of NOC also.”

To ensure compliance, DSEJ has directed all Chief Education Officers to constitute special monitoring teams headed by  Dy. Chief Education Officers /Zonal Education Officer to verify complaints regarding the sale of books/uniforms by private schools or pressing parents for 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.

In a separate circular, Director Shankar has addressed complaints regarding private schools demanding annual and admission fees, as well as other charges besides tuition fees, from parents of students enrolled in their institutions. Such schools have also increased their annual and tuition fees without the approval of the Fee Fixation and Regulation Committee (FFRC). DSEJ’s tele-counselling helpline “Ayo Baat Karein” has received a number of complaints on a daily basis about this issue.

DSEJ ordered that all the private schools shall strictly abide by the J8K School Education Act 2002 and desist from charging  any fee other than approved by the Fee Fixation and Regulation Committee. Any deviation  shall invite action as envisaged under Section 27 (2) of the Act.