Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Unrecognized schools served closure notices

Unrecognized schools served closure notices

HYDERABAD: In an effort to clamp down on unrecognised and unsafe schools in the state, the education department has issued closure notices to almost 500 schools across Hyderabad district. Seventy-five of these have already been shut down.

According to the Right to Education Act (RTE), schools are supposed to renew their licences every 10 years and only those that receive recognition by the state can be allowed to run.

"After issuing notices, 111 schools in Hyderabad district have applied for recognition and 140 others are at different stages of applying for licence. There are 165 schools which face notices," said, Subba Reddy, Hyderabad district education officer.

The schools which have sought licenses have been given temporary recognition by the education department.

In addition to serving notices to unrecognised schools, action is also being taken against those institutions that in a dilapidated condition and lack adequate water and toilet facilities.

As per the RTE, every school must have separate toilets in working conditions for boys and girls. Also, potable water must be available on the school premises.

In the recently released Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), it was seen that only 65% of the government schools in 21 districts of the state had potable water facility. The report also revealed that only 43% of the surveyed schools had a separate toilet provision in usable condition for girls.

To crack down on the erring schools, special task forces have been created. An amount of Rs 1 lakh is also being collected from schools which do not comply with the norms within a stipulated period of time.

"We want students to be given the right atmosphere and basic facilities as part of their school education. Schools are already being penalised or being served closure notices as a strict measure," said Vani Mohan, commissioner, directorate of school education.

The education department aims to weed out the faulty schools before they shut for summer vacation in April.

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