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1,849 schools may lose recognition

School Recognition

30-Aug-2013

The New   Indian Express

As many as 1,849 unaided schools in the state are staring at the prospect of losing recognition as the state government is taking them to task for not implementing provisions of the Right to Education (RTE) Act this year.

These schools, according to a circular issued by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), did not receive applications from parents seeking seats under the 25 per cent quota for disadvantaged children.  Commissioner for Public Instruction, Mohammad Mohsin, told Express that notices have been issued to schools as per Section 18 of the RTE Act, before withdrawal of recognition.

“As per the Act, we have to take action against schools that have not implemented the RTE. When the government is allocating so much funds, schools are naturally obliged to comply,” Mohsin said.

The Department has identified 43 schools in the state that have violated provisions under Section 12(1)(c) that deals with the 25 per cent quota. Another 10 schools in the state have not implemented the RTE as they have moved court and 22 others for ?other’ reasons. “Legal action should be taken against the 43 schools through district-level education regulation authorities. Steps will be taken to strengthen our case against schools in the court. Action will be taken against 22 schools after identifying the exact reasons,” the circular stated.

Based on the information provided by Deputy Directors of Public Instruction (DDPI), of the 1,849 schools, 198 were found lacking basic infrastructure, 799 were found not providing quality education and 852 schools did not have both. This includes 352 unaided schools identified in Bangalore (North, South and Rural).

K Padmavati, the DDPI of Bangalore South, which has 217 schools facing derecognition, said action will first be taken against 15 schools for rejecting RTE applications. When asked about the fate of children already enrolled, she said, “If these schools are shut down, we will ensure that children are accommodated in nearby schools.”

According to the circular, the recognition of schools that fail to fulfill the norms as prescribed will be withdrawn as per Section 19 of the RTE Act, along with the prescribed penalty under Section 18, which is a fine of `1 lakh.

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Schools heave a sigh of relief as Maharashtra govt softens RTE norms

Implementation, Right to Education, School Recognition

Jul 6, 2013,

The Times of India

[Himanshu Nitnaware ]

AURANGABAD: With the Maharashtra government softening its norms under the Right to Education Act (RTE), 2009, 77 city schools can now heave a sigh of relief.
With the revision of norms, these 77 Aurangabad schools will be now eligible under the RTE ambit and will not face action from the zilla parishad (ZP).
In a directive issued on June 29, the state relaxed norms for schools laid under the Act, including playgrounds, urinals, ramps, water facilities, compound walls, kitchen sheds and classrooms.
The region has around 1,046 primary schools, of which around 816 schools have submitted detailed reports of compliance and have undergone inspection, said Nitin Upasani, ZP education officer. Upasani said that the move follows practical constraints for many schools in implementing the RTE provisions.
According to the revised norms, schools can now use open spaces or any other playground in the vicinity – a clause that was already under consideration, given space constraints in many city schools. Upasani stated that schools with centralised kitchen facilities will not have to comply with the requisite norm of a separate kitchen shed or arrange for separate water facilities for cooking. The revised norms specify 2 litres of water per student for cooking midday meals and another 2 litres of drinking water, so the latter needs to be in place.
According to the newly-suggested ratio of washrooms, schools must have three urinals and one toilet. Since new washroom constructions offer an equal number of toilets and urinals, separate toilets for boys and girls are to be ensured on school inspections.
School authorities in the city welcomed the revised norms. “We were worried about completing the only lacuna of a separate kitchen shed: we just don’t have the space. With this decision, we were relieved,” said Sudhakar Gayke, principal of Narsinha Vidyamandir. Omkar Pawar, principal of the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Primary School, said that the compulsion of implementing RTE norms has helped raise the infrastructural standard of the school. “The revised decision has offered us the flexibility to implement norms according to the available space,” Pawar said.
The only worry for schools now pertains to the primary and upper primary classes, with the norm of a separate classroom for 35 students with a
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Govt yet to notify officers about RTE sanctions

Implementation, Right to Education, School Recognition

MUMBAI: Although, nearly three years have passed since the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 came into force, the Maharashtra government is yet to notify officers authorised to accord sanctions for prosecuting schools accused of contravening provisions of the
act.

This anomaly came to light during the hearing of a petition filed before the Bombay high court by Dabhol Educational Society from Dapoli in Ratnagiri
district.

A division bench of justices AM Khanwilkar and AR Joshi last week restrained the local police from taking any coercive steps against members of the educational institute after finding that the government has not notified officers authorised to sanction its prosecution for contravening RTE provisions.

The educational institute approached the high court after the Dapoli police station registered an FIR against it on March 2, 2012 for contravention of section 18 (5) of the RTE Act.
Their counsel, Suresh Pakale, argued that no further steps could be taken on the basis of the FIR, since it had been registered without obtaining previous sanctions to prosecute members of the petitioner society. The lawyer pointed out that the government had not so far issued notification authorising specific officers to accord sanction to prosecute for breach of RTE provisions.

“Registration of the FIR at the instance of block education officer for offence punishable under section 18(5) of the act is therefore questionable,” the bench observed after additional public prosecutor PH Kantharia fairly accepted that the notification had not been issued so far, and admitted the petition for final hearing.
The court has, however, made it clear that the admission of the petition was not licence for the petitioner society to run the school in the absence of a valid recognition certificate, and that authorities would be free to take action against the society if it continues to run the school.

Hindustan Times, 09 July 2012

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330 unrecognised schools to be closed

Right to Education, School Recognition, Unrecognized Schools

VIJAYWADA: The State Government has prepared ground to shut down 330 unrecognised schools operating in Krishna district. Criminal cases would be booked against the managements, if the unrecognised schools were opened after summer vacation, District Education Officer (DEO) D. Devananda Reddy warned.
The DEO said that in all 220 unrecognised schools were there in Krishna district and 110 schools were running in Vijayawada city. The district administration would close down all the unrecognised schools as per Right to Education Act, he said. Stating that the parents would face trouble, if their children were admitted in unrecognised institutions, Mr. Reddy asked them to admit their wards in recognised schools only.
The list of the unrecognised schools has been displayed in the Deputy Education Officer’s office in the district and a copy of the list was also uploaded on to www.dyeovijayawada.yolasite.com, for giving information to the public.
Besides, the officials would enlighten the people through media and brochures, he said.
Government will not grant any concessions for the students who admit in unrecognised institutions and the students will face problems as the transfer, study and conduct certificates are not valid.
The State Government was providing several facilities including, improving infrastructure in Government schools, qualified teachers, free books and uniform for students, Mid-Day Meals, health check up for students and teaching in English in all Government-run institutions, said the DEO and appealed to the parents to admit their children in Government Schools only.
The DEO along with Deputy Education Officers (Dy.Eos) and Mandal Education Officers took out a rally from Benz Circle to Sub-Collector’s office in the city on Saturday, to enlighten the people on the consequences, if children were admitted in unrecognised schools.
The officials also explained to the public the facilities and benefits of Government schools. Deputy EOs M.V. Krishna Reddy, P. George Raju, C.V.L. Narasimha Rao, K. Durga Prasad and others participated in the rally.

The Hindu, 20 May 2012

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Private schools shy away from seeking government recognition

Access to education, Autonomy, Right to Education, School Recognition

Chandigarh Thousands of private schools in Punjab have refused to get registered with the education department defying the Right To Education Act.
Out of the total 9,800 private schools functioning in Punjab, only about 3,000 have approached the education department showing their willingness to be registered and recognized under the RTE Act.

Majority of the other schools have written to the government that they do not need to get recognised by the education department as they are already affiliated with the Punjab School Education Board.

“These schools have to understand that affiliation is different from recognition. A school seeks affiliation of a board as the board is primarily an examining body. But the RTE clearly states that every private school, which intends to teach students beginning from class 1 had to be recognized by the state’s education department. Moreover, since RTE states that there will be no examination for students till class VIII, it does not matter if the school is affiliated to a board or not. What is more important is that every school has to be recognized and if the school is teaching classes beyond class VIII, it will also be affiliated,” said Hussan Lal, principal secretary school education.

Sources said that a large section of the schools which are avoiding being recognized by the education department are doing so as in that case they would have to meet the various norms laid down in the RTE Act.

A large number of unrecognized schools are running from shabby make shift complexes, small buildings and single rooms in villages while the RTE makes it compulsory for the private schools to provide the basis minimum infrastructure. This includes all-weather school buildings, one-classroom-one-teacher, a head teacher’s office room, library, toilets, drinking water, kitchen sheds, barrier free access, playground, fencing and boundary walls.

Other than infrastructural requirements, these schools also have to ensure one teacher for every 30 students. With most private schools following the teacher pupil ratio of 1:40 to 1: 60, they will have to employ many more teachers to comply with the provisions of the RTE Act.

In addition teachers to be employed under the RTE Act can be recruited only after they clear the requisite teachers eligibility test conducted by the state government.

Every school, which is registered by the education department will be inspected by a team to access the compliance of these norms. “The inspection process of the 3,000 schools, which have filled and sent the self declaration forms will begin shortly. For the rest of the schools we are yet to take a decision,” added Hussan Lal.

The secretary added that the Act provides for strict punitive action against private schools in case they continue to teach students without seeking recognition. “The Act provides for closure of such schools and an immediate fine if Rs 1 lakh. Such schools would, however, be given some time before they can comply with the Act within a stipulated time failing which they would be fined at the rate of Rs 10,000 a day for each day of non-compliance beyond the stipulated date,” said Hussan Lal.

The Indian Express, 14 May 2012

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