Pune: While Education Minister Ashish Shelar has directed the Pune Zilla Parishad (ZP) Education Officer to take action against the 61 illegal schools in Pune district that have been derecognised, activists said that this process of inspection and derecognition should have taken place in the months of November or December.
Since the schools have reopened for the academic year, it will now be difficult for parents to get their children admitted to other schools.
“The administration always waits till the beginning of the new academic year in June /July to release the list of derecognised schools. The inspection process should be done in November itself, and the list should be declared latest by December, as the new admissions begin by the month of January,” said education activist Mukund Kirdat.
“61 schools is not a small number. Had the list been declared earlier, so many parents and students would not have been affected,” he added.
The schools on the list have been derecognised as they have been functioning without due approval from the government.
“It is possible that these schools have not at all applied for the permit. It might be that they had applied but failed to get the approval. In whichever case, the school should have been shut,” Pune ZP Education Officer Sunil Kurhade stated.
He said, “Action will soon be taken against these schools and they will be issued a notice to shut down within a given period of time. If they fail to do so, they will be charged a fine for each day that they remain open after the given period of time.”
As far as students at these schools are concerned, Kurhade said they will have to take admissions to other schools. “Since these schools are not government-recognised, the administration will not be responsible for assimilating these children to other schools. They would have to do that all on their own,” Kurhade added.
Kirdat insisted that the government must try to get these children assimilated into aided or government-run schools if they fail to get admissions elsewhere.
“Obviously the government cannot persuade the private unaided schools to take these children in. However, they should try to get them admitted to the schools they have control over,” he added.
He said the government must collaborate with the other boards like the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), to ensure that the schools have the approval of the State authority too.
“Many times, the schools start because they get approval from the CBSE or the Council of Indian School Certificate Examination. However, the government must interact with these boards and ask them to verify if the schools have gained the permit from the State government, before giving them a go ahead. This process would certainly reduce the number of schools on the derecognised list,” Kirdat said.
The schools fail to gain a permit from the State authority when they have not fulfilled the required parameters like, availability of playground, a safe compound wall, toilets on the premises and so on.