In the wake of protests by parents against charging of arbitrary fee by private schools besides the alleged nexus between schools and booksellers, the district administration has formed a special three-member committee to look into the matter.
Kapurthala deputy commissioner Jaskiran Singh said the committee members will visit prominent private schools in the city and they will submit a report to him on their findings.
The committee comprising sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Satwant Singh, district education officers (DEO secondary) Gurbhajan Singh and DEO (primary) Gurcharan Singh Multani visited MGN Public School, The Mall, Kapurthala, in the city and interacted with the students and staff members on Tuesday.
“The matter is serious since it involves children. We will conduct an inspection at all schools this month and a report will be submitted for further action,” SDM Satwant Singh informed.
Earlier, various parents’ body had submitted memorandums to the administration demanding prompt action against the monopoly of private schools and few shopkeepers forcing parents to purchase books, uniform and other material only from some particular shops.
The parents claimed that despite clear guidelines of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to the aided schools that the details and quantity of books, the list of board’s publications/textbooks should be uploaded on their website but it is not being followed by the schools.
The deputy commissioner had assured the parents of justice in the case.
The SDM said he had also interacted with various stakeholders and advised people to come to him if they have any complaint against a school management.
Most of the private schools have failed to form the mandatory school-level committee despite the directions of the state transport department, the Supreme Court and the Punjab and Haryana high court in this regard.
It has been two years since the orders were passed to form the school level transport committee at all private schools, but no progress has been made.
The state transport department had issued directions to the district administrations in Punjab to form a district level inter-departmental committee led by SDMs in January 2014 to supervise the work of the school-level committee.
The committee’s objective was to hold a monthly meeting with members and discuss safety measures while transporting children and related issues.
The probe committee is supposed to be headed by principal or headmaster of the school and it comprises a police official, transport officer, assistant district education officer and a representative from the parent-teachers association from the school.
However, district education officer (DEO secondary) Gurbhajan Singh said he was not aware of any committee formed by private schools.
When asked on the issue, SDM Satwant Singh said he would look into the matter and ask the schools to form committees and hold monthly meetings.