Taking immediate cognizance of the issue of private schools compelling parents to buy expensive books and uniforms from specific vendors, Education Minister Ms Atishi has directed the Education Department to take strict action against these schools. Violation of Education Department guidelines on books and school uniforms by private schools will not be tolerated and strict action will be taken against such schools, said the orders from Education Minister Ms Atishi. She has clearly stated in her directive that private schools must either stop forcing parents to buy books and uniforms from specific sellers or be ready to face severe consequences.
The Education Department had issued strict instructions to schools on March 17, 2023 to comply with the guidelines on sale of books and school uniforms. It states that immediate notice must be issued stating the reasons in case of any complaint. In case of violation, action will be taken under the relevant provisions of the DSE Act 1973.
Over the past few days, the Education Minister has been receiving continuous complaints that parents are being forced by private schools to buy expensive books and school uniforms from specific shops or vendors. Recently, some parents also met with the Education Minister and brought the issue to her notice.
Taking immediate cognizance and issuing the directions to DoE, the Education Minister said, “Recently, there have been continuous complaints that private schools are forcing parents to buy expensive books and school uniforms from specific vendors. Private schools are not following the guidelines issued by the Education department on this matter. Recently, some parents also met me and brought this to my notice. Those schools that are forcing parents to buy school uniforms and books at high prices from themselves or from a specific vendor should be identified and strict action should be taken against them.”
She added that the guidelines issued by the Education Department last year gave parents the freedom to buy books and uniforms for their children from any place of their convenience. Therefore, if private schools are forcing parents to buy expensive books and school uniforms from specific places, it is a violation of these guidelines. Disciplinary action will be taken against such schools.
The Education Minister further said, “Every parent has the right to obtain proper information about books and uniforms for the upcoming session before the beginning of the new academic year, so that they can arrange for them according to their convenience and not be forced by the school to buy them from specific shops or sources. The purpose of education should be to build the future of the country, not to earn money.”
It is to be noted that guidelines of the Education Department states that private schools must display a class-wise list of books and other study materials on their website before the beginning of the new academic session to inform parents. Additionally, schools must also display at least 5 nearby shops’ addresses and phone numbers on their website where parents can purchase books and school uniforms. Parents have the freedom to buy these items from any store as per their convenience, and the school cannot compel them to purchase from a particular vendor. The guidelines also state that private schools cannot change the color, design, or other specifications of school uniforms for at least 3 years.