MP: 11 FIRs against schools, shop owners for hiking fees, textbook cost

The district administration took action against the school functionaries and textbook shop owners after finding various discrepancies against them
Image of school textbooks for representation purpose only | (Pic:  Express)
Image of school textbooks for representation purpose only | (Pic: Express)

The administration in Madhya Pradesh's Jabalpur district has got 11 FIRs registered against school functionaries and shop owners for allegedly illegally raising fees and textbook prices, a senior official said on Monday, May 27, stated a report by PTI.

These schools illegally collected fees of Rs 81.3 crore from students in the current session, said District Collector Deepak Saxena.

The authorities have imposed a fine of Rs 22 lakh on 11 schools, he said.

So far, 20 persons have been arrested in this matter, Superintendent of Police Aditya Pratap Singh said.

The district administration took action against the school functionaries and textbook shop owners after finding various discrepancies against them, Saxena told the media.

He said some schools hiked fees by more than 10 per cent without seeking permission from the district administration.

Some others increased fees by more than 15 per cent without approaching the committee set up by the state government.

These 11 schools hiked fees in the current session without following norms, he said.

The district collector said many schools have not shared their audit reports and it becomes tough to access the exact fees collection and their expenditures, he said.

In some cases, a certain portion of the total fees collected was transferred from one branch to another for purposes that are not clear, he said.

Parents should be allowed to buy textbooks and stationery from any shop, he said and added, schools have to furnish affidavits regarding this but it was not done.

The schools each year change books and more than the required number of books are prescribed for various classes, he said.

There is documentary evidence of a criminal monetary conspiracy between these schools and shops selling textbooks and stationery, he said.

There is a margin of 70 to 100 per cent in many books and the margin was not passed on to the students who purchase books, the official said.

The school management has nobody to examine why they need to change the old books and a particular person in the management who has no relation with studies is taking the decision to discontinue old books, he said citing the investigation.

The official said a Rs 40 crore burden was put on parents by raising the number of books, which led to an increase in the weight of school bags.

Students were also forced to purchase fake ISBN (International Standard Book Number) textbooks, he added.

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