Published: 14th May 2019
Karnataka government hikes textbook price by 20 per cent, schools demand rollback
The hike, at 20 per cent will essentially mean that parents will shell out almost Rs 100 extra for a set of textbooks
In a shocker, the Karnataka Department of Education has implemented a hike in the price of textbooks distributed by the Karnataka Textbook Society. The hike, at 20 per cent, means that parents will shell out almost Rs 100 extra for a set of textbooks.
Confused by rates quoted for the supply of textbooks, which were higher than orders which were placed last December, schools approached the Department of Education for clarification on Monday. Upset over the move, they are now demanding a rollback or an explanation as to the rationale behind the move.
If the price is not revised downwards, they will have no option but to pass on the burden to the parents, they said. “The hike will impact students in all classes, from one to ten. The department had shared a price list online in December and orders were placed. But private schools were in for a shock when they saw the increased price in the final invoice sent out recently,” said D Shashi Kumar, General Secretary, Associated Management of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka (KAMS). “In the past ten years, it’s the first time we are facing such a situation. Besides, the problem is in the announcement of new prices after deciding a rate while placing the orders,” he said.
At present, schools have decided to make the payment for the books, said Satyanarayan, principal of Presidency International English Primary School and Lal Bahadur Shastry Memorial Kannada School in Magadi Road. “Parents who were informed through voice messages about the last minute changes have already raised objections. These practices impact the image of the institute as its construed that the school is trying to squeeze a commission,” added Satyanarayan who has to convince more than a thousand parents from both the institutes. Students are seeing a price hike from anywhere between Rs 30 and Rs 100, he told TNIE.
Members of the association have also alleged that the department was trying to make money by making the school staff members travel long distances to collect the ordered set of textbooks, giving preferences to those who paid a few thousands more as a bribe.
However, speaking to The New Indian Express, HN Gopalkrishna, Director of the Department of State Educational Research and Training (DSERT), said that a statement on the price hike would be shared on Tuesday. “Price revision is an annual exercise. The 20 per cent increase is only for a few books which are printed fewer in numbers. So far, 80 per cent of the orders are printed and 60 per cent is already given out. The distribution will be completed in a week’s time,” he said.