Punjab School Education Minister Harjot Singh Bains on Saturday formed a task force to stop the private schools from “looting” parents in the name of textbooks, text notebooks and fees in the academic session commenced on Saturday.
Harjot Singh Bains said the task force has been formed in each district of the state comprising three principals from that district. This task force will investigate complaints received by the education minister and submit its report to the regulatory authority.
Giving the information about this decision through a video message, the minister said for the past several days, complaints were being received from parents and students that private schools are looting parents in the name of books, copies and funds.
He said a few days ago, a letter was issued to the private schools through all the district education officers of the state asking them to follow the instructions of the school regulatory authority regarding books, copies and fees.
The minister said Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has also received complaints regarding the looting of parents by private schools. The chief minister has taken serious note of the complaints and warned that the robbery of private schools by way of subscribing to expensive books from favoured publishers won’t be tolerated.
Bains said he was shocked to know that the books of class one are being sold by private schools for Rs 7,000 in which the book of the first class mathematics subject is only Rs 600.
The minister instructed the owners and management of private schools to subscribe only NCERT. He said according to the rules, schools located in small cities have to write the names of three to five shops outside the school and in big cities like Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar, a list of twenty-twenty shops has to be posted outside the school from where students can buy the book.
Bains also issued an email [email protected] through which students and parents can directly complain to the education minister about the looting of private schools.
The minister instructed the managers of all the private schools to fill and submit the information regarding the increase in fees made by the school, the infrastructure of the school as per the rules by 30 April 2023. Bains said the Bhagwant Mann government will not allow the education of the state to become a business.