The Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) has issued an order urging the Education Department to withdraw the No Objection Certificate (NOC) to a school chain affiliated to the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) after complaints from parents that they were being harassed by the management for refusing to purchase textbooks at ‘exorbitant’ rates from vendors chosen by the school.
Th order applies to all the three schools of Baldwins — Baldwin’s co-education extension high school, Baldwin Boys School and Baldwin Girls High School. An order issued on Friday by Kripa Alva, Chairperson of the commission, stated that the NOC should be withdrawn, and the council be informed about the matter. If the State government withdraws the NOC, the schools will be considered illegal.
Children who do not have books and whose parents had approached the commission were allegedly mentally and physically harassed, which the commission states violates the Right of Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009.
The decision was taken by the commission after several hearing pertaining to a complaint that the school was allegedly forcing parents to buy textbooks at ‘exorbitant’ rates. The parents had alleged that teachers were directed to collect money ranging from ₹4,900 to ₹12,000 from them.
The commission had also directed the school management to stop selling textbooks from designated vendors, but the management had not complied with the order and the vendors were found selling textbooks in a hotel.
Sources said the commission took a strong stance as the school management had not only violated past orders, but also skipped the hearing.
Officials of the Department of Public Instruction said that they were yet to receive the order. Despite repeated calls, the school management did not respond to calls or messages from The Hindu .