Jalandhar, April 10
The district education department has issued a show cause notice to Seth Hukum Chand Secondary School for allegedly forcing parents to buy books and notebooks from a designated makeshift book center set up on the first floor of a Dada colony hotel near the crossing.
Addressing the issue of exorbitantly priced program books available only at a site designated for a particular school, Jalandhar Central Aam Aadmi party MP Raman Arora had carried out a surprise check on Friday when raiding a vacant hotel building on Adda Tanda Road.
The notice said the ministry had received complaints from parents against the school over their alleged involvement in the sale of books. The parents, in the complaints, claimed that the school had given them the contact number of this makeshift bookstore which sold course books at exorbitant prices.
The parents said that since they were getting sets of books at inflated prices at this center, they tried to buy the same books from other stores in the market, but to no avail. “By engaging in such activities, the school has violated the orders of the Punjab government, which clearly prohibit private schools from compelling students to purchase books, notebooks, stationery and uniforms in any any particular store,” the notice further read.
Meanwhile, education department officials, during a surprise check at the center, a person named Sunny Sharma, who works in the school canteen, was present at the scene. Additionally, books and notebooks bearing the school’s logo and name were found in large quantities.
Speaking to The Tribune, Deputy DEO (Secondary) Rajiv Joshi said that upon learning of the complaints filed by the parents, the department issued a show cause notice to the school. He said the school had been asked to submit a response within three days or strict action would be taken. The school’s accreditation could also be revoked.
Meanwhile, Mamta Bahl, Principal of Prem Nagar Branch Seth Hukum Chand School, said the school had nothing to do with the makeshift library. The school had asked parents to buy books from any store in the market, and whoever set up the center was trying to damage the school’s reputation, she added.