Parents complain about spending more on books, uniforms for kids in pvt schools : The Tribune India

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Parents complain about spending more on books, uniforms for kids in pvt schools

Parents complain about spending more on books, uniforms for kids in pvt schools

Parents have raised voice against the exorbitant book prices and the vendor-school nexus in Amritsar on Wednesday. Sunil kumar



Tribune News Service

Neha Saini

Amritsar, April 3

A year after Punjab Education Minister Harjot Singh Bains instructed the district education officials to act strictly in case of a violation of fee regulation and sale of books and uniforms by private schools, not much seems to have changed. Parents whose wards are studying in private schools in the district have taken to social media platforms and also mailed complaints to the District Education Office against the exorbitant prices of books being charged by vendors referred to by these schools.

Flooding the social media platform of ‘Voice of Amritsar’, a non-profit NGO in Amritsar, several parents expressed helplessness over there being no regulation on the prices of books. Rakhi Sharma, a parent, whose child studies in Class II in a noted private school, claimed that one set of books cost her Rs 8,500, while another parent, whose kid had graduated to kindergarten from nursery, spent Rs 7,000 on a single set of books. Similarly, the District Education Office has also received several complaints from parents in this regard in the last 24 hours against several private schools.

“As per directions, we have set up a four-member task force, including principals, to look into these complaints. We are receiving complaints against private schools, who are not directly selling books and uniforms but recommending particular vendors for the same. We have also been receiving many phone calls from parents, complaining about the exorbitant prices of books charged by vendors referred to by private schools. We will look into these complaints and do the needful,” said DEO Rajesh Kumar. The four-member committee will look into resolving the complaints related to books, fees and uniforms from the parents of children studying in private schools affiliated to the PSEB, CBSE and ICSE boards.

Meanwhile, on an average, parents are spending anything between Rs 4,000-Rs 8,000 to buy stuff for kids from Nursery to Class 3; Rs 5,000-Rs 10,000 for books of Class III to Class V. The parents also allege a nexus between vendors, publishers and private schools, who refer books from a particular publication that leads to the unchecked, high prices.

Ajitpal Singh, a small business owner, whose child studies at a local private school, said that the authorities are in a deep slumber as the school session has already begun and parents have already paid for the books. “Whatever preventive action was devised by the authorities must have happened before the commencement of the new session as now almost all parents have already paid for books. It’s the same story every year, as there is no fixed price announced by the government for selling books and schools take advantage of that.” He has spent Rs 10,000 on buying books and stationery for his child studying in Class 5. The higher the class, the less the price of books as most CBSE-affiliated schools shift to books recommended by the NCERT from Class VIII onward. The most exploited segment, however, remains those whose wards study in Nursery to Class VI.

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#Harjot Singh Bains #Private Schools


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