(MENAFN - Arab News) A junk shop in Madinah sells school tables, chairs and boards in addition to computers, faxes and telephones and schoolbooks. Some of these are brand new, while others are only sparsely used.
During a tour of the shop, the reporter of a local newspaper found boards still packed in their original cartons on sale. The price for a chair and a desk varied between SR30 and SR40, while the prices of small boards ranged between SR100 for a used board and SR140 for a new one. Bigger boards that have the seal of the Ministry of Education were sold for SR200. The vendors said they purchased these equipment.
Schoolbooks for first grade were also on sale.
The education directorate promised to look into the matter, saying there are approved ways to dispose of books through recycling them. It said that schools are not alloed to sell books or any other school supplies.
Omar Barnawi, director of information, said the matter is under investigation.
The subject has been referred to the follow-up directorate. Security authorities have been notified about cases of theft in some schools.
Barnawi said the presence of school supplies in junk shops doesn't necessarily mean negligence. He explained that there are rules and regulations to dispose of canceled books or waste paper. These are handed over to the paper recycling company which is contracted by the ministry. Schools are instructed to keep these books in a special container until the recycling companies pick them up, or deliver them to the warehouses of the education directorate.
Furniture is usually sold in an auction under the supervision of the educational directorates and relevant authorities.