As soon as the new session starts in the schools, the problems of parents increased. Along with the fees of one to two months, the huge amount charged in the name of development fees in the schools has to be paid, then copy-books have to be bought as well. The set of books is so expensive that many parents are sweating to buy it.
In many private schools, a set of books for classes I through VIII costs Rs.6 to 10,000. The administration and education department are keeping silent on this looting of parents. These days there are long lines at all the booksellers. Some relatives are visiting selected shops to buy children’s books.
The Education Ripoff
Books from private publishers prescribed by schools are up to five times more expensive than NCERT books. Most private school operators show no interest in ordering National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) books. Those private schools now select around 80 percent of their books from private publishers.
The cost of these books is many times more than NCERT. In many books, a print slip is pasted separately on top of the print rate, and much more is recovered than the published price.
In private schools, not only do they select expensive books from different publishers, they change the books every year to earn lucrative commissions. In one example, a 256-page NCERT book costs Rs 65 while a private publisher’s 167-page book is available for Rs 305.
Some books taught by the schools cost as much as 500 to 600 rupees. Even BA-MA books are not so expensive. Previously, a younger child used to read from the books of the elder child because the books remained the same. But now the younger child is often not able to use the books of older children because every year deliberately one or more changes are made in the books. Even the book covers change so that it cannot be known whether it is an old book or a new one. For the revision of one page of the book, a new book has to be taken.
This is an education ripoff and parents and children are suffering.
Syllabus Changes Generate Profits
The school syllabus also changes every year. But the NCERT syllabus prepared with great research has remained the same for years. But now the question arises about the standard of curriculum implemented in private schools. Does it fall so much in one year that the schools have to change it? No, the standard of the curriculum is fine, but the schools are afraid of cutting their commission. If the old syllabus is implemented then the students will get all those books at the shops in the city. Some students will try to make do with old books as well.
In such a situation, the illegal earnings of private schools may get a shock. Private schools are not in favor of this. The curriculum changes are often only nominal sequence changes. In which the serial number of the chapter written in the books is changed, so the students cannot use the previous year’s books.
Why is there no time limit fixed for revisions? Despite being from the Central Board of Secondary Education, children are asked to take books from private publishers instead of NCERT.
NCERT books are available in every shop but to buy books from private publishers one has to visit a certain shop. These books are not available anywhere else. Atlas, Book of Human Values, Grammar, Compact, Graph Book, etc are such things that do not seem to be anywhere throughout the year, yet have to be taken because the school says. Taking a compact assignment of Rs.488, a graph book of Rs.50, etc., the bill runs into thousands.
Whether it is the state government or the central government, no one cares about education. In this area, private schools are openly looting the public.
No government appears to be paying attention to this. What is the level of education and how is there looting? Is there anyone watching?
The administration also seems not to notice this bullying by schools and private publishers, so does nothing for the benefit of parents.
The administration has issued instructions across the country that NCERT books will be taught in all schools, but no private school is following that instruction. They are handing over the list of private publisher’s books to the parents of their own free will. Parents are unable to protest much regarding the future of their children.
Booksellers only receive 15 to 20 percent commission on NCERT books, while others pay 30 to 40 percent. Apart from this, stationery offers are available separately. In the greed of this huge commission, the school operators deal directly with publishers and get the books directly. Due to which the private schools also get five to 10 percent commission from the booksellers or they get their commission from the booksellers determined by the school.
The school operators get the benefit of lakhs in this game which is held every year.
No parent wants to play with the future of their child because a complaint action against a bookseller may result in the school taking action against the child.
A good question is: Do the Prime Minister and government officers see this education ripoff and looting going on? What will they do about it?