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School to impose fine on those selling tobacco within 100 yards of institutes: DSEK

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Srinagar: The Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) on Thursday stated that all the heads of the institutions are authorised to impose a fine on shopkeepers selling tobacco within 100 yards of the educational institution.

In this regard, the DSEK held a divisional-level sensitization training programme for officers of the School Education Department regarding the ill-effects of tobacco products and the implementation of COTPA-2023.

The initiative has been taken to ensure tobacco-free educational institutions across Kashmir.

“We have established health and wellness institutions in all the educational institutions which are monitored by the heads of the institutions,” Director School Education Tasaduq Hussain Mir told reporters on the sidelines of the programme.

“We are taking suggestions from the health department and the guidelines, as per law will be implemented in all the schools to ensure that all schools are tobacco-free,” he said.

He said the heads of the schools or the nodal teacher can impose a fine on any shopkeeper found selling tobacco products within 100 yards of the school.

About the mushroom growth of the coaching centres in Srinagar, the DSEK said the department has not registered any coaching centres. He also informed that no fee was fixed for these institutes as well.

On the issue of private schools charging fees or donations at the time of kindergarten admissions, the DSEK said that action will be taken once the authorities receive any written complaint against any school.

“The parents can register their complaints with ZEO, CEO or the directorate in this regard,” he said.

About the delay in the implementation of the RTE Act under which the private schools have to reserve 25 percent admission for students from Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), he said the directorate has sought details from private schools to ascertain whether these institutions are giving admission to poor people or not.

“They have sent in details and we will screen them to ascertain if they provide free admissions to students from EWS. If any violation is found then we will take action against them,” the director said.

Meanwhile, he also said that private schools can charge only tuition fees from the students for January to March months, noting that the students did not use computers or libraries during these months.

“Session did not end in December but it will culminate after completion of exams. There are initial hiccups in it as this is the first year of transition. As per the previous system, the schools did not charge the fees for these months but now the session has changed,” the director said.

“As the schools were closed and the students did not use computers or libraries, but vis-a-vis salary of the teachers, the parents have to pay the tuition fees for these months,” he said.


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