Don’t insist on parents buying accessories from school: Madras HC

Image used for representational purpose

CHENNAI: The Madras high court has directed Coimbatore-based Amirtha Vidyalayam, run by Matha Amirtanandamayi Trust, not to insist that parents of their wards buy material other than textbooks from the school.
“The school can sell books necessary for the students. As for other accessories, there cannot be any compulsion on the parents to purchase them, except uniform and shoes,” Justice C V Karthikeyan said.

The vacation judge was passing the interim order on a plea moved by M Hemalatha and S Vijayababu, whose children are studying in the school.
According to the petitioners, for the past two years, the school management had been profit-oriented, contrary to the avowed ideals of its founder.
They further alleged that the school insisted on the parents to buy accessories — including shoes, socks, sports dress, school bag and lunch bag s from the school itself.
This apart, instead of the textbooks prescribed by the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT), which cost ?450, the school management was compelling parents to buy books published by Oxford and Cambridge and costing ?5,500.
The school management had issued a circular to parents, insisting that they pay ?5,500 for textbooks and ?5,000 for other accessories, including lunch bags. The petitioners further pointed out that the management insisted on brown shoes for the kids as such shoes would not be easily available in the market. It is an indirect compulsion to buy them from the school, they said.

Almost all the schools are doing the same. This institution is no exception. I did not find any mention of school uniform which is also a very costly item.
Srinivas Injeti

When a section of parents opposed such moves, the management threatened to issue transfer certificates to their children. Even a complaint made to the district collector has not evoked any convincing response, they claimed.
As the management was still insisting that they buy such material from the school at an exorbitant price, the petitioners approached the court.