Hyderabad: Several schools are putting pressure on parents to purchase textbooks, notebooks, stationery, uniform and shoes from the shops they have set up.
Since the school management does not give any option and the items are sold on exorbitant rates the parents have begun to protest.
Even those schools that had not adopted these practices until recently have started forcing their students to purchase educational material from the shops they have set up.
The school managements say that they have the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) permission to sell books and other material. Otherwise, they add, the schools would not have ventured into this business.
Syed Khwaja, a parent from Ameerpet, said, “Recently I have bought books for my children who study in the primary section. For only one child I had to shell down around Rs 11, 000 for the study material. I had to spend separately for the uniform and shoes. Directorate of School Education should take action against schools that are selling books and other material over and above routine profit.”
B. Kondala Reddy, President of Telangana Progressive Teachers Federation (TPTF) said, “Directorate of School Education should find out which schools are misusing the permission and take strict action against them.”
Education is essentially a service to the community. Since the schools cannot be run without saving some money they should be allowed to make a reasonable profit. But unfortunately, most of the schools in the State have been misusing this privilege. They have become commercial establishments, Mr. Reddy added.
B. Venkata Narasamma, District Education Officer of Hyderabad, said that the schools have begun to undertake commercial activity within their premises following a High Court order in 2016. But it has come to notice that some of the schools are indulging in blatant commercialism. They are allowed to sell only books. “That too only on MRP,” she said.
She further said that her department has not received any complaint from the parents. The issue is being raised only by student bodies. “We can take action on written complaints alone,” she said.
Maddileti, President of Telangana Vidyarthi Vedika (TVV), said his organization has plans to launch a series of protests against the sale of books and other material by the schools. “We will hold a protest meeting in front of the Directorate of School Education office,” he said.
Aparna Sathe, another parent in the city, said that many schools change school uniform almost every year and they insist that they should be bought from the school shop alone. In some schools, there are three different uniforms for students which include regular school uniform, white uniform for Saturday and sports uniform. Imagine the plight of the parents who have to buy three different uniforms for each of their children, she asked.