Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): District collector has instructed private schools principals to ensure availability of school materials like uniform, textbooks and stationery at minimum three shops of Bhopal.
Asheesh Singh convened a meeting of private school management and gave necessary instruction regarding availability of school material, students’ safety, and school bus operation on Friday.
He also instructed the schools education department and RTO to look into school bus operations. The collector instructed the schools to ensure that their books were available at least at three shops so that the students face no issue.
Earlier, the parents had approached the authorities after they failed to get textbooks for their children from the shops other than the one authorized by the school management. The books of Christ Memorial School were sold at Shankar Book Depot, a shop temporarily opened at Krishna Plaza Shopping Complex.
The book depot had closed after operating for a month leaving the students high and dry. As the books were not available at any other place, the parents had taken up the matter before the authorities. The collector also instructed the school management to ensure the presence of a lady attendant, installation of CCTV cameras, and a first aid box in the school bus.
The management was also told to get the verification of the school bus driver and share the information with the parents. The children alighting from the school bus are to be handed over to parents and not be dropped in mid-way. The parents who are using private transportation, auto and van will have to inform the school management about the same.
Earlier in April, FIRs were registered against the management of Podar International School (Ayodhya Bypass) and Christ Memorial School, Bairagarh (Sant Hirdaram Nagar), for pressuring parents to purchase books, uniforms and other materials from a particular shop.
The parents had approached the school education department complaining about the two schools. They told the authorities that the management of the two schools had directed the students to buy the school items from a particular shop and if not they would not be allowed to enter the school.
Acting on the complaint, a team of officials had visited the two schools and found that the class-wise list of books along with price, the name of author and publisher was not pasted on the notice board.
The principal has also not given information about the books and publishers on website, email id firstname.lastname@example.org Collector Asheesh Singh has already instructed SDMs and DEO to enforce prohibitory order under Section 144 of CrPC to end the monopoly of private schools, publishers and booksellers.
Under it, operators of private schools will not be able to force students or parents to buy uniforms, shoes, ties, books, notebooks etc from designated shops only.