Fleecing students, panel set to tighten noose around private schools

The Directorate of School Education, Jammu, has taken note of the parents being allegedly forced by private schools to purchase textbooks and uniforms from designated shops at exorbitant rates. It has constituted a four-member committee to take action against the defaulting institutions in the Jammu region.
The Chief Education Officer (CEO) will be the chairman of the committee in each district. The panel members include the Deputy CEO, seniormost principal of the higher secondary schools and the Assistant Director from the CEO office.

Sources said all private schools in the Jammu region were advised a few months ago not to force parents to purchase books and uniforms from designated shops but it had yielded no results.

They said due to the lack of initiatives by the successive regimes to curb the practice, the private schools had been encouraged and continued without any disruption.

“It has been observed that some private schools are still selling school uniforms and books either on the campus or at designated shops at high rates. As a result, the parents are left with no choice,” said an official of the school education department.

“In fact, the books sold by the institutes are available at cheaper rates in other book stores. The department has constituted a committee to keep a close watch on this practice. It has been asked to furnish fortnightly action-taken reports to the Directorate for necessary action against the defaulters,” the official added.

The official said the CEOs of all 10 districts had been instructed to constitute special squads for enforcing the instructions and keep a check on this practice.

The Jammu region has more than 2,700 private schools.