DSEK fails to issue guidelines on sale of books in private schools
Srinagar: The school education department seems to have shelved the complaints received against sale of textbooks at exorbitant prices by private schools in the State.
On November 08 last year the advisor to Governor Khurshid Ahmad Ganai had instructed the director school education department to examine the complaints and issue guidelines to regulate prices of textbooks and uniforms of private schools in the state. The regulations were likely to be issued on the analogy of regulation of fee structure of these schools.
“But till date no such guidelines have been issued by the department in this regard. The directions remained confined to papers only,” an official said.
He said that some of the private schools are connected with power echelons who are trying their best to sabotage any sort of intervention by the department in the functioning of private schools.
“Some of the private schools don’t even follow fee structure fixed by the government committee,” the official added.
Earlier, the directorate of school education Kashmir was instructed to recommend measures to regulate the rates. The directions were given amid public outcry against sale of text books by private schools at exorbitant price.
The government had assured of strict action against those who resort to extortion and illegal profiteering by selling textbooks on highly exorbitant rates, leaving parents virtually at the mercy of the school managements.
“But no action was taken on ground, there was no meeting held in the department or with the management of private schools,” the official said.
The issue came to fore after it was reported in media that school textbooks worth Rs 200 crore are sold every year in Kashmir without any government regulation. The business has left the parents of children at the mercy of some top private schools that force buying at arbitrarily fixed high prices.
Sources said the nexus between the private publishers and owners of top private schools is deep-rooted as both make hay by selling textbooks in school campuses in gross violation of rules and regulations.
“The prices are fixed by the publishers and school owners as per their own wish. The nexus makes sure a textbook is sold at Rs 200 which, if kept available in open market, won’t cost more than Rs 100,” the source said.
Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK) Muhammad Younis Malik said the matter will be looked into.
“The issue had started prior to my positing as director education. I will discuss the matter with the concerned officials and action will follow accordingly,” Malik said.