After sending notices to five elite south Mumbai schools for allegedly violating norms, the education inspector of south zone on Friday sent a proposal to the deputy director of school education to start the process of cancelling the no-objection certificate (NOC) given to the school managements to set up their schools in Maharashtra. The schools, however, are firm on their stands, citing that they do not follow state board curriculum and hence are not bound to follow the state government rules.
The notice issued by the education inspector said that five schools—Cathedral and John Conon, Fort, Activity High, Peddar Road, Bombay Scottish, Mahim, St Mary’s ICSE School, Mazgaon and Diamond Jubilee School, Mazgaon— have flouted the norms of the Maharashtra Employees of Private Schools (MEPS)(Conditions of Service) Regulation Act, 1981.
The education inspector said that the five schools have been violating the MEPS Act by having ‘over-aged’ principals and have not abided by the rules of state school education department, despite receiving notices and letters from the education department.
In the letter to deputy director of school education, education inspector of south zone B B Chavan, also pointed out that a Government
Resolution (GR), dated August 7, 2009, states that all schools, whether affiliated to ICSE,CBSE, IGCSE, IB or any other board, will have to follow rules stipulated by the state government.
When approached, the schools said that the MEPS Act is not applicable to them, but only to the state board schools. “We are an unaided private minority school, our school is run by a private trust and we are affiliated to the ICSE board. Hence, the MEPS Act is not applicable to us. Besides I have not received any copy of this letter of the education inspector to the deputy director.” said Kenetth Misquita principal of St Mary’s.
Perin Bagli, principal of Activity High, said, “The MEPS is a very old act, its rules are outdated today and it is not applicable to unaided private minority school and needs amendment. Except for issuing a no-objection certificate, the state government never interferes in the working of the private unaided minority schools, then why do they now want to apply MEPS Act on us?”
Chavan, however, said that all the schools in the state, irrespective of what board they are affiliated to, have to follow the law of the land.
The rule 17 of the MEPS Act clearly states that these principals and teachers cannot continue to hold their positions in the institution after their retirement age of 58 years. If they claim that MEPS is not applicable to them, then they must tell us which rule is applicable to them.
They can follow the curriculum of any board, however, they have to follow rules stipulated by the state.”
Some schools claimed that they have new principals and still they are receiving notices by the department.
Nutan Iyer, principal of Diamond Jubilee School, said, “We have sent a report to the education inspector twice stating we have a new principal.Still they claim we are violating rules.”