CHENNAI: The Central Board of Secondary Education has warned schools against forcing students to buy expensive textbooks, uniforms and other stationary items. “Educational institutions are not commercial establishments and their sole purpose is to provide quality education,” CBSE said in an advisory to schools. The board has issued the warning after receiving complaints from parents and stakeholders that schools are indulging in commercial activities by way of selling of books, uniforms within the school premises or through selected vendors.
“CBSE norms mandate that schools run as a community service, not as a business and that commercialisation does not take place in the school in any manner,” it said. The schools are directed to desist from unhealthy practice of coercing parents to buy textbooks, note books, stationary, uniforms within the premise or from selected vendors. CBSE also directed schools to follow only books published by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).
Some schools in Chennai also procuring the books and uniforms in wholesale and distributing it to the students. The availability of NCERT books to all the classes is a major issue. The schools have to go to Bengaluru to procure the NCERT books. “We have no problem in following NCERT books. If NCERT books are available, no school will go to private publishers. At times up to three, four months classes go on without text books. Downloading the books from the internet will cost more than the actual books,” said S. Namasivayam, senior principal, Maharishi Vidyamandir Senior Secondary School, Chennai.
The problem can only be solved if MHRD makes available the NCERT books in all cities. The CBSE board should impose heavy penalties on schools which sell stationary items and uniforms, parents said....