JAMMU : As the parents of school children have welcomed the circular issued by the Directorate of School Education Jammu (DSEJ) directing all the private unaided schools to desist from fleecing the parents by compelling them to purchase books/uniforms from any particular shops at exorbitant rates, they demand more clarity in the future orders.
During an interaction with few of the parents regarding the circular issued by the school directorate, they informed that majority of the private schools affiliated with the J&K Board of School Education (JKBOSE) are charging the fees fixed by the Fee Fixation Committee (FFC) but the real issue is Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) affiliated schools.
“We are not saying that all JKBOSE affiliated private schools are charging exorbitant fees and forcing the parents to buy the textbooks/uniforms from a particular shop at very high rates. There might be few. Majority of the CBSE affiliated schools are indulging in huge profiteering and it is almost impossible for a common man to get his/her children admitted into these institutions. These schools should also come under the ambit of J&K School Education Department”, a group of parents told.
“Whenever an order is issued by the School Education Department\School Directorate against the private schools, be it regarding charging of annual/tuition fees, books purchasing or uniforms, there is no specific mention about the CBSE Schools. As a result, they remain untouched saying that they follow instructions from the apex body at New Delhi. We are not against the CBSE Schools but the rules should be the same for every school irrespective of the board it is affiliated with”, parents added.
“We enquired at a few shops for NCERT books. Most of them do not have them because very few schools follow NCERT books. On further inquiry, I was shocked after I came to know that booksellers get a very high margin on selling some private publication books which may go up to 50–60 percent while on NCERT books they get only 8–10 percent”, the parents claimed.
“On prescribing a specific publication, schools also get some commission from booksellers (15–25 percent). So, private schools do not follow NCERT books. Because if private schools start following NCERT books they will lose the fat commission that gets for prescribing specific publications.
We are not saying that every school is in this practice. Government should standardize education and instruct every CBSE affiliated school to follow NCERT books only. We are hopeful that the announcement by the Union Education Minister about the introduction of NCERT textbooks in all schools from the academic session 2024-25 will be implemented in letter and spirit”, they stated.