With the academic year beginning on June 12, parents are thronging bookshops across the district as students begin to settle in their new classes. Almost every bookstore and stationery worth their name are witnessing heavy rush. This is despite the heatwave prevailing in the region and the schools opening five days ago.
Vijayawada: Parents feel the pinch in new academic year
One can see a size able number of people, both from Vijayawada and other parts of the district, trying to get their orders met at stationery at Eluru Road, I-Town and at Lenin Centre. As of Monday, government textbooks were not available In the market, though schools reopened on June 12.
There are a total number of 4,532 schools in the district, of which 3,157 are state-run and the remaining private. As per the last academic year, the district had 6,05,716 students of which 2,61,717 were students of government schools and 3,43,999 in private schools in the district. This year, admissions in all government schools are reaching their capacity while private schools are still taking in students.
At the beginning of the academic year, almost every student requires books worth Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 3,000. Parents say that every year, they are forced to shell out more on their children’s stationery. This is particularly hard on the middle and lower middle classes.
The middle and lower middle classes also have to cope with private and corporate schools who demand anything between Rs. 3,000 and Rs. 15,000 for the books and other material like uniforms, tie, belt etc. Though this is a clear violation of government orders and regular warnings of the education department officials, these schools continue with the practice. A private employee A. Ramachandra Rao of Yanamalakudiru said that both his children are studying in a private school. “The school has collected Rs. 3,700 for my child in Class III and Rs. 3,000 for the one in Class II. This is the scenario every June, when parents have to not only shell out money for books, uniforms etc, but also hefty school fees, term fees and so on,” he said.
Students Federation of India district president Kotababu stated that the sale of books in schools is a clear violation of norms and the government has to take strict action against any school that does this. “Sales of books has decreased by 50 per cent this year, as almost all schools are selling the notebooks and textbooks in the campuses,” said Sk. Saleem, who runs a bookstore at Alankar Centre.