Thursday June 13, 2024

Schools told not to force students to buy books, stationery from them

By Our Correspondent
April 20, 2019

The Directorate of Inspection and Registration of Private Institutions (Dirpis), Sindh on Friday admonished private schools’ owners who forced the students enrolled in their schools to purchase uniforms, books, schoolbags, notebooks, practical journals, and other stationery items from them.

The private schools directorate also constituted inspection teams to take severe action against the administrations of private schools who were involved in fleecing the parents through such practices. Dirpris warned the school administrators that if they continued exploiting their students, action would be taken against them without issuing any explanation call or notice.

In a circular issued on Friday, the directorate stated that it had been observed that the owners of privately managed schools were forcing their students to buy stationery, uniforms, and other items from them, that too on high rates compared to the open market.

“The administrators of private schools charge from 2 to 4 times more prices for selling uniforms, schoolbags, notebooks, and other items than the actual price in the open market,” the circular read, mentioning that this was an illegal act no less than robbery as it caused great misery for the parents and burdened them.

The Dirpis officials have also told all the principals and administrators of the private schools not to sell textbooks, notebooks and schoolbags to the students in their schools or else strict action would be taken against them. “The owners of private schools have been directed to avoid such heinous practice of minting money from parents, otherwise, their school registration will be canceled,” the circular stated.

The private schools have been directed to provide the list of required books and stationery items to the students so that they could purchase them from open market on usual rates. The directorate, however, has permitted the private schools to ask their students to apply their school monograms on the books and schoolbags which they have purchased from the open market but in that case also the schools are not supposed to charge any extra amount.

Talking about the circular issued to the private schools, Dirpis Registrar Rafia Javed said the directorate had received several complaints regarding costly books and notebooks which many private schools were forcing their students to purchase from them.

The registrar explained that after such complaints were received, Sindh Education Minister Syed Sardar Ali Shah directed Dirpis to take appropriate action, following which Dirpis Director General Dr Mansoob Hussain Siddiqui issued the circular to warn the private schools against continuing such practice.

A majority of parents cannot afford costly stationery items offered by private schools and they can buy the same stuff from open markets, Rafia said. “Dirpis has already formed three committees for inspection, monitoring, and complaints. These committees have been tasked with visiting such schools and reporting to the education minister directly.”

The registrar added that the complaint centre of Dirpis was also accepting complaints from parents on its Facebook page; whereas, parents could also send emails and letters to the directorate or make phone calls to the complaint centre to register complaints about schools that were forcing their children to buy books and stationery at high rates.