The Central Board of Secondary Education has asked affiliated schools across the country to shut down shops selling textbooks, stationery, schoolbags, uniforms, shoes and similar articles within their premises.
The board asked schools on Thursday to strictly comply with its affiliation byelaws and “not indulge in commercial activities“. This includes sales through “selected vendors“.
The directive comes on the heels of the board's effort to make schools follow NCERT textbooks and creation of an online link for schools to raise demand for these books in February this year.
The circular issued by CBSE on “commercial activities“ in schools said the board had received complaints from parents and other stakeholders on schools “indulging in commercial activities by way of selling of books and uniforms etc within the school premises or through selected vendors“ despite being as ked not to do so.
“There is a nexus of profiteering. But our affiliation byelaws are clear that schools are a community service and not commercial entities. It is mandatory for schools to adhere to the provisions,“ said R K Chaturvedi, chairperson, CBSE. The circular asked school managements to strictly comply with its directive.
The board cited “rule 19.1 (ii) of CBSE affiliation byelaws“ which mandates that managements shall ensure that the school is run as a community service and not as a business and that commercialisation will not take place in the school in any shape whatsoever.
CBSE said it had taken a “serious view“ of violations of this rule. “Schools are directed to desist from the unhealthy practice of coercing parents to buy textbooks... from within the premises or from selected vendors only.“
The board also reiterated that all affiliated schools are “required to follow directions given in its circular dated April 12, 2016, regarding use of NCERT CBSE textbooks. Often the board receives reports and complaints regarding pressure exercised by schools on children and their parents to buy textbooks other than NCERTCBSE.“