Ahead of the commencement of the next school academic year, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Wednesday ordered Punjab schools against imposing any hike in school admission or tution fee.
The CM also ordered that no school can force parents to buy books, stationery and uniform from a particular shop.
This will bring relief to hundreds of thousands of children and their parents in the state, many of who are forced to either change schools because of high fees, or withdraw their wards from schools and force the children to work in the unorganised sector.
It will break the monopoly in the “education business”, which often led to these businesses dictating prices of the products, and parents have been forced to comply.
The CM said that all private schools would have to ensure that all shops offer books, stationery and uniforms of their schools, so parents can chose where they want to buy these from.
Mann, in a video message, said that education was like a third eye, which widened the perspective of an individual. “But it saddens me that education is out of reach of the common man. People want to give their children a basic education, but the high cost is an impediment,” he said.
This is amongst a series of people friendly decisions that the newly elected Aam Aadmi Party government in Punjab has taken.
Ever since he assumed office on March 16, Mann has launched an anti-corruption helpline, announced the decision to regularise jobs of 35,000 contractual employees, announced doorstep delivery of rations and also slashed the multiple pensions given to lawmakers.