Collector Akash Tripathi has promulgated an order under Section 144 of the CrPc aimed at discouraging cartels of schools, publishers and booksellers, who are often accused of fleecing students and parents at the time of admission in city schools. Any violation is punishable with up to six months in jail and a fine of Rs 1,000 or both.
The 10-point order issued recently has directed school managements to take certain steps to ensure transparency in admission and ban the following:
1. The city school managements have been asked to publish a list of school textbooks for each class and put it on their website and also on the notice board by March 5, 2015. Schools, which do not have websites have been asked to provide a copy of the list to each student by March 5, 2015.
2. School managements cannot force students to buy books before March 30. Parents should be given time till June 15 to buy books and copies. Schools that will start session from April 1 have been asked to hold orientation classes and teach subjects that do not require text books till April 30.
3. Using textbooks not prescribed by the board (MP Board, CBSE, ICSE) and from the designated publisheragency not vetted by the board is banned. This is applicable for students from classes 9 to 12.
4. For other classes, care should be taken that books not prescribed by the boards should not be more than the ones prescribed. Also, forcing students to buy particular books on subjects like moral science, general knowledge and computer science is banned.
5. Forcing students and parents to buy books, copies, uniform from a particular shop is banned. If the school runs a hostel and books and copies are given through the school management to hostel students, then special permission will have to be taken from the administration.
6. Care should also be taken to ensure that no private publisher/printer/seller of school textbooks, exercise books and school uniform is allowed to publicise their products and items during the parent-teacher meetings.
7. Students and parents cannot be forced to buy the entire set of books and copies for a particular class. Old books should be allowed to be reused by students. Also, unnecessary items should not be included in sets comprising books and copies.
8. The name of the school cannot be embossed in any notebook (copy) or even in the cover. The price, number of pages, quality etc should be clearly mentioned in the copy.
9. Schools cannot have more than two types of uniform and they cannot be changed within three years. Students cannot be forced to buy dresses for school functions.
10. While using non-prescribed books care should be taken that they are not objectionable.