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RTE effect: City’s private schools must apply afresh for recognition

Private schools, Right to Education

With the implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act in Chandigarh, it will be mandatory for all private schools in the city to apply for fresh recognition within three months of the date of implementation. The recognition, to be granted by the UT Education Department, would be allowed on the basis of a self-declaration form, the six-page proforma for which has already been prepared and uploaded on the official website making it accessible to schools.

All schools, irrespective of whether they are already recognised or their recognition or renewal case is under process, as is the case with many private schools, have to apply afresh now. No financial burden has been attached with the recognition process for the schools as the Department has exempted any application fee for it.

Going by the RTE Act implemented on February 11 through a circular released by the office of the District Education Officer (DEO), all private unaided schools would be filling the ‘self declaration-cum-application for grant of recognition of school’ form and submitting it to the DEO within three months.

The proforma prepared by the Department would basically imply to be an undertaking revealing information about details of the school, the nature and area that would include the school being run on its own building or rented, total area of the school, built-in-area, total income and expenditure during the last three years along with other details.

Not only information about the school management but its students and staff too would be required to be revealed by the schools. From total number of students in each class in both the general and reserved categories, EWS and disadvantaged group, 10-column details sought separately for each teacher in primary, upper primary, elementary and secondary levels.

All the schools have been informed about the requirements that they need to comply with through the implementation of RTE Act, this being one of them. The recognition form has been made a public document by uploading it on the official website. So far no school has submitted its self declaration form by which the recognition process can be initiated by the department,” informed DEO Chanchal Singh.

Recognition withdrawal

Guidelines for both grant and withdrawal of recognition have been laid down by the Department. Though the schools would be given sufficient time of three years to meet the shortcomings pointed out by the concerned authority, those failing would cease to function within three years from the commencement of the Act.

The DEO is authorised to issue a notice to the school seeking its explanation for violation of norms within one month. Failing this, the DEO can cause an inspection by a committee of three to five members. On the receipt of the panel’s inspection report, the DEO is authorised to pass orders for withdrawal of recognition.

The Department has the authority to withdraw recognition but it has been ensured that adequate opportunity is given to each school of being heard. Also, it has to be approved by the UT Administration. In case of withdrawal, the order would also specify the neighbourhood schools to which the children of the de-recognised school would be admitted,” added Singh.

17 conditions must be met

The three-page recognition certificate with the recognition code number awarded to the school by the office of the DEO would mention the sanction on the fulfillment of 17 conditions. These include all the important provisions of the RTE Act from admitting 25 per cent students in Class I from the EWS and disadvantaged groups, school not to deny admission to any child for lack of age proof, no child to be held back or expelled from school along with other regulations. The conditions for recognition cover all the aspects from the school not being run for profit for any individual, group or association of individuals or any other persons, school building and ground used only for education purposes to the school being open to inspection and furnishing of records to the Education Department on regular basis.

Indian Express, March 11, 2011

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