Parents accuse Baldwin school of ‘fleecing’ them for books, stage protest

Parents accuse Baldwin school of ‘fleecing’ them for books, stage protest

Parents protested in front of Baldwin School on Richmond Road alleging that the school was charging an exorbitant price for its textbooks.

Commotion prevailed from Monday when parents at the Baldwin Co-Education Extension High School, Rajarajeshwarinagar, expressed dissatisfaction for allegedly having been asked to cough up several thousands of rupees to buy textbooks.

Murali, one of the parents, claimed that the school asked the parents to give a demand draft (DD), for the amount it quoted for the books.

“We have been asked to pay Rs 2,200 per textbook. In most classes, there are four textbooks per subject, some have 26 textbooks in all and buying this is a burden. Not all can afford it,” Murali added.

The school follows the ICSE syllabus and the parents claimed that the textbooks were available only at the school, but not in the market.

“When we went to buy the books, we were told to pay Rs 890 as an additional charge. But we were not informed what this is for. They charged Rs 150 just for a carry bag,” claimed another parent.

On Tuesday, hundreds of parents had gathered near the school on the Richmond Road.

“We are not allowed to question. We feel targeted. Our children could be the next,” claimed a parent from Baldwin’s Girls School.

Vijaykumar, principal, Baldwin Co-Education Extension High School said: “I am aware of the complaint with the Deputy Director of Public Instruction (DDPI). According to a high court order, 2017, schools are restricted from making any agreements with the vendors. We do not have any agreement with them.”

“We have published the booklist. Books not being available in the market does not fall under the purview of the school. They are free to purchase these books wherever they want,” Vijaykumar added.

“A majority of parents had no issues in getting the books. Many got books from the open market. One of the parents in question has been making false allegations against the school. We are addressing the issue,” he added.

In response to a complaint submitted by one of the parents, the department of public instruction has directed the Block Education Officer (BEO) to visit the school and submit a report on the issue in three days.

The District Educational Regulatory Authority has directed the Baldwin Girls School, Baldwin Boys School, and Baldwin Co-Education Schools to appear before the District Commissioner, Bengaluru’s office on Wednesday regarding the issue.