DoE warns schools not to sell uniforms, notebooks

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Panaji: Schools have been warned that action will be initiated against any institution trying to sell notebooks, textbooks or uniform cloth, etc, to students within school premises. In a recent circular to schools across the state, the directorate of education (DoE) has prohibited schools from carrying out any commercial activity in the institutions.

“It has been brought to the notice of the directorate of education that in spite of instructions, some of the recognised schools are still indulging in commercial activities such as selling of textbooks, notebooks, exercise books and uniforms. All schools are hereby directed not to recommend any agencies that are not registered with the sales tax department and also not to encourage staff members to indulge in the aforesaid commercial activities in school premises,” states the circular.

DoE has reminded schools of a judgment by the Bombay high court which states that schools cannot insist on the place from where students should purchase stationery, textbooks and uniforms.

“Some of the extracts of the said judgment are transcribed here: With regards to textbooks and other stationery, there could not be such insistence on the part of the schools. We are also of the opinion that when the textbooks are prescribed, those books can be purchased from any book centre,” the DoE circular reads.

The DoE has warned that any violation of the instructions will be viewed seriously and “action as deemed fit shall be instituted against the erring schools”.

In May this year, the Delhi high court directed the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to make sure that schools do not carry out “commercial activities” on campus. The directives came in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) which claimed that while increasing the cost of the products, schools did not allow parents to purchase the items from the open market at competitive prices.

This article was first published on Times of India on 1st Aug 2017