Chaos prevailed in an unaided ICSE school in Rajarajeshwarinagar, Bangalore, on Monday after parents started protesting over the steep hike in price of textbooks. Parents of Baldwin Co-education Extension High School in the south west part of the city alleged that textbooks were sold for thrice the actual price.
“Prices have shot up by three or four times. We can buy the same books from the open market at cheaper rates. When we questioned the principal, he stopped answering our calls. And when we came here, his bouncers manhandled us,” said the mother of a student who was protesting in the school. Some parents said they paid a demand draft of Rs 8,000 for the textbooks.
N L Karkare, chairman of Baldwin Institutions, Resident and presiding bishop of Bengaluru Regional Conference said: “We neither sell books nor have any agreement with any vendor. We assume there are textbook vendors who are parents of some students and want to run their business through us. They are instigating other parents. I have told the principal to find out if parents who protested were genuine ones. Also, as an old ICSE schools, we have one of the lowest fee structures in the city.”
However, parents across the city testify that this is not an isolated incident and demanding higher prices for textbooks have become a norm in many schools. “It’s time the Council (CISCE) takes a note of the situation,” said a mother of a Class 4 student of a prestigious ICSE school in Central Bangalore.