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Govt order inquiry against private schools for prescribing textbooks by private publishers

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Srinagar: The government has ordered an inquiry to probe the complaints that several private schools in the Valley are prescribing textbooks published by private publishers in addition to those recommended by the Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education (JKBOSE).

The inquiry has been ordered after complaints were received from parents and students that private schools were prescribing both textbooks of private publishers as well as JKBOSE textbooks thus overburdening the students.

The parents complained that they were being forced by the private schools to buy expensive textbooks published by private publishers in addition to the textbooks recommended by JKBOSE.

In this regard, the Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) has written to all the Chief Education Officers (CEO) to probe into the matter.

“The department has received various complaints from the parents alleging therein that some of the private schools are asking the parents to purchase books of private publishers instead of or in addition to the books prescribed by the JKBOSE,” an official communiqué read.

The Directorate has stated that the practice has been viewed seriously by the authorities.”You are requested to conduct an in-depth enquiry into the matter along with your Zonal Education Officers (ZEOs) and furnish the action taken report to this Directorate within a period of three days positively. The matter may be treated as most urgent,” the communiqué stated.

JKBOSE has directed all the private schools to prescribe textbooks published by the Board, for classes 6th to 8th from the current academic session. The Board has also warned the private schools of action if the directions will not be implemented on the ground.

Already, all the JKBOSE-affiliated schools prescribe JKBOSE published textbooks for students from classes 9th to 10th. However, some private schools, in violation of rules, have prescribed both, JKBOSE and textbooks from private publishers to the students from classes 6th to 8th.

In one such example, a prominent private school in Baramulla has reportedly prescribed 16 textbooks to the students of class 6th. These include seven JKBOSE textbooks while nine textbooks are from private publishers. Meanwhile, the DSEK move has been welcomed by parents and students who have been struggling to cope with the high cost of education.

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