Srinagar, Feb 2: In view of the government's directions regarding the uniform curriculum for 6th to 8th classes, to stop the overpricing of textbooks, parents demand that the issue should be curbed from the lower classes.
Earlier this year, the Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education (JKBOSE) has directed all the JKBOSE affiliated private schools across UT to prescribe textbooks published by the board for classes 6th to 8th for the upcoming academic session. JKBOSE had also warned all the private schools of stringent actions if the directions were not adhered to.
Mohammad Shabir, Chief Education Officer said that the issue of overpricing of books will be resolved once we have a common curriculum for government as well as private schools. “Already from grade 6th to 8th, directions are in place and the violators will be dealt with strictly. For lower to primary classes, we will do it in a phased manner. The matter will be further discussed with the principal secretary.”
Parents have raised queries that the textbooks of the lower and middle classes are sold at a high price and demand a mechanism to curb the overpricing.
Convener of the Parents Association of Privately Administered Schools (PAPAS) Asma Goni said to curb the menace of overpricing, the department should take the step from the beginning and prescribe the books itself.
“The rate list should be approved by the department and the books should be available at every bookstore. Despite having the orders for class 6th to 8th, the nexus of the textbooks from the class Nursery to 5th is going on and the price of the books is very high. That should be looked at as well by the department.”
She further said that the order pertaining to the uniform textbooks for private and government schools needs amendment.
“The order should be for every board. The private schools that function under Central Board of School Education said the order is not for them as it applies to JKBOSE affiliated schools only but their prescribed books are costly too. We have written to Principal Secretary Education to clear the thing and avoid confusion among the parents,” she added.
Talking to a parent whose children study in CBSE schools, she said that the two book sets for class 2nd and 4th costs more than 8000.
“The costs of the books are very high. The books are sold at a specific shop which offers you a complete set including stationary, cover rolls, notebooks along with the textbooks. The other things can be bought from the local shop as well but the specific bookstore doesn’t sell the set without all these things,” said Seema, a parent.