Several parents have taken to Twitter to criticize the city’s private schools for insisting they buy books, uniforms and other things from the school itself and charge “excess” fees.
Voice of Parents Karnataka (VOPK) demanded that the government intervene and stop harassment by schools.
As explained by several parents who send their wards to private schools unaided in Bengaluru, schools charge exorbitantly for exercise books and textbooks.
“Compared to market prices, everything is 50% more expensive in schools and we were forced to buy from them,” one parent tweeted.
Parents said on Twitter that schools insist that parents buy uniforms, textbooks and other things from the school or from a particular supplier.
Some schools even insist that parents buy shoes from particular brands.
Parents have filed complaints with the Karnataka State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights and the District Education Regulatory Authority in this regard.
“I send my daughter to one of the best schools and for a 200 page notebook they charge double the MRP,” said one parent.
“You do the math on the amount of excess fees charged by schools. Considering that about 1,500 students study in one school, you calculate how much more they earn,” VOPK representatives said.
“It’s not just a financial burden, it’s mental harassment for us every year,” said another parent.
“In my son’s school, even though he’s not interested in karate or swimming, we were forced to pay the fees. If we resist, they ask us to withdraw our child from school. They say, only we have a problem,” one parent said.
According to the rules, schools can only provide a list of books or a model of uniforms and shoes. Parents are free to buy the same on the open market.
Stealing from parents is a violation of fees regulations under Amended Rules of Karnataka Educational Institutions (Classification, Regulation and Prescription of Curriculum), 2018.
The Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) has also banned schools from selling things or insisting parents buy from them or from a particular seller.