Buy notebooks from any shop: Education Dept to pupils
Writ petition compels it to overrule its decision directing students to buy notebooks from certain shops
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, April 5
The Director of the Education Department overruled an earlier order that made it mandatory for students to purchase notebooks from specific shops.
He said students at government schools affiliated to the Punjab School Education Board were free to make the purchase from anywhere.
Kamal Kumar Garg, Director of the Education Department, said, “The confusion had arisen because of certain contradictory orders. We are not promoting any specific shopkeepers.
“We had only suggested the names of specific shops in order to provide notebooks of good quality at affordable prices.”
The controversy has arisen following a recent order from the head office of the District Education Officers (Senior Secondary) which ‘reiterated’ that the students from Classes VI to XII should purchase their notebooks from specified shops only.
The head office was informed that only 8,000 copies were purchased from specified shopkeepers in Patiala; 5,000 in Mohali; 8,000 in Jalandhar; 2,000 in Muktsar; 1,500 in Faridkot; 1,000 in Fatehgarh Sahib; and 1,500 in Bathinda.
No sale has been reported from any other district.
The office had justified its orders asking schools to ensure that students purchased from specific shops, saying these were better in quality and cheaper.
However, following complaints that the notebooks were poor in quality, a writ petition was filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
The office of the Director Education had sent a reply to Advocate HC Arora that said, “Taking notice of the facts in the legal notice that the notebooks were of bad quality, a committee had been constituted to look into the matter.
“Preliminary inquiry has found faults with the products and the firms have been issued show-cause notices.”
Garg said, “Strict action will be taken against the defaulter publishers. The policy decision to give names of specific shopkeepers was only to offer students notebooks of a good quality at low prices. This does not mean we were promoting any cheap publishers. The matter will be decided shortly.”