Srinagar, November 13: The Jammu and Kashmir government’s announcement that the prices of textbooks and uniforms of private schools in the state will be regulated is welcome, but it needs to be implemented on ground in letter and spirit.
Till now the Government has failed to put a control on the nexus between the private schools and publishers, who are fleecing parents by selling textbook and notebooks at exorbitant prices. The government’s failure has resulted in public outrage.
The private schools, which include elite ones, reportedly charge commission of around 40 to 60 percent on books being sold by them in the school premises or at the designated bookshops. A textbook of first standard whose cost could not be more than Rs 40-50 is being sold at Rs 250-300 with both publisher and school management sharing the undue profits.
There is no uniformity as every private school has its own set of textbooks being prescribed to the wards which results in murky business of commission. This has been going on for years and it is a practice which is beneficial for both publishers and private schools. But the parents are bearing the brunt of this nexus which needs to be broken.
The Government must immediately issue instructions to private schools to stop this illegal profiteering by selling books at exorbitant rates. Special inspection teams need to be constituted who could visit the schools to check this practice. Strict action must be taken against those who resort to illegal profiteering by selling textbooks at exorbitant rates.