Monday, March 11, 2013

Compulsory registration for middle-level schools

Compulsory registration for middle-level schools

Kshitiz Gaur, TNN Jul 12, 2011, 02.09am IST
AJMER: Minting money through setting up of private middle-level schools, most of which are unregistered in Rajasthan, would no longer be anyone's cup of tea as the state government made it compulsory for all such institutes to get recognition at least up to Class VIII.
As on date, there are more than 32,000 unregistered private middle-level schools running in the state that follow no norms in fee fixation, infrastructural facilities or in appointment of teachers. According to the new rules, every private school will have to pay a recognition fee of Rs 10,000 and will have to show a fix deposit of Rs 50,000. They also have to follow the norms and standard of Right to Education which has been partially implemented in the state from April 1, 2009.

Opening a school up to the middle-level has been easy in the state earlier as it was not necessary to take any permission. Nor do these schools have to follow any rules or guidelines. "In most places, especially backward areas, schools have become the main source of business as the government has failed to provide qualitative education and craze of English-medium attracted the middle-class parents," a retired education officer said. These schools charge Rs 400 to Rs 500 per month as fees and pay about Rs 1,000 each to unqualified teachers as salaries.
Even the education department is not aware how many private schools up to primary and middle level are running in the state but sources say more than 32,000 private primary and middle schools are running in the state with districts like Nagaur, Dausa, Churu and Dholpur having the highest number of such institutes.
Tightening the noose around these unregistered private schools, principal secretary (school education) Ashok Sampatram has directed all education officers to get these schools registered. These schools have to submit the application by July 31 while district education officers have been asked to inspect them.
"We have to check if these schools are following norms of the RTE and providing admission to 25 per cent of students of lower and deprived families. They should also have classrooms, playground and adequate teachers according to the norms of NCTE and pay them according to government rules," district elementary education officer Manju Dadich said.
She added that the inspection has to be completed by August 31 and the schools have to submit Rs 10,000 which will go to the girl child foundation account. If schools are found without the minimum infrastructure, they will be provided three years time to complete the procedure, Dadich added.
"Private schools will now be unable to charge caution money, development fees and cannot take interview at the time of admission. They cannot force parents to withdraw their ward if he is weak in studies. Neither can they expel students," said Umesh Sharma, chief secretary of Rajasthan Teachers' Congress.

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