Over 3,000 unaided English medium schools across the state have come together to protest against the state education department for not sanctioning their proposals to start new schools for nearly three years. The school managements have threatened to go on a hunger strike from April 3 if not given recognition by the state government.
The schools were set up in 2010. Their proposals for recognition were pending with the school education ministry,said D S Lahane,president,Maharashtra State English Medium School Association (MSEMSA).
On May 28,2010,the state government had issued a notification inviting trusts and organisations to submit their proposals to set up new schools. The notification stated that the state would give recognition to schools based on various criteria. Around 8,000 schools then submitted their proposals to the state education department. The district and state-level committee of the education department then scrutinised all 8,000 proposals and finally recommended 3,115 proposals for approval. They have conducted numerous inspections since 2010,but till date our recognition is pending, said Lahane.
He added,If our schools close down,students will have to travel to far-flung places. Many of them would then prefer to drop out.
A senior official from the school education and sports department said,Though their proposals were recommended by the district and state level committee,these schools do not fulfill certain criteria. We are looking into the matter.
These schools mostly located in remote localities claim that they had already started their pre-primary section after getting permission from local government bodies such as Zilla Parishad and municipal corporations. They claimed that they are forced to run un-recognised primary schools as their proposals are pending approval.
Last year,the state came out with new criteria for granting recognition to schools The association has demanded that the new regulations be applicable to those schools whose proposals were submitted post 2012.
When we started our schools in 2010 following government notification,we had met all the criteria prescribed by the government at that time. But on September 25,2012,a GR was issued stipulating a new set of norms for recognition. Why are we being scrutinised as per the new GR? We demand that the schools that came up in 2012 should come under the purview of the GR of 25 September 2012 and not us, said MSEMSA secretary Kakasaheb Surve.
MSEMSA members say the new norms are stringent and cannot be fulfilled by old schools. The government is asking for a deposit of Rs 10 lakh in the schools account for recognition. Apart from this,the schools should have three-acre area in rural areas and one acre in urban areas. It is difficult for us to fulfill this criteria now. What we demand is that the government should give recognition to us first as it is pending for three years now. We would fulfill the criteria within eight months under RTE except for the criteria of land as it is impossible for us, said Lahane.
MSEMSA members allege that several CBSE schools that had applied for recognition at the same time as them were granted recognition. We had talks with education minister Rajendra Darda,but the government officials kept blaming each other and kept promising that our problems would be resolved soon. They are neither granting us recognition nor denying it. We have also written Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan requesting him to intervene in the matter and resolve the issue, said Surve.
The school managements have threatened to go on a hunger strike from April 3 if not given recognition by the state government
The schools were set up in 2010. Their proposals for recognition were pending with the school education ministry,said D S Lahane,president,Maharashtra State English Medium School Association (MSEMSA)
Last year,the state came out with new criteria for granting recognition to schools The association has demanded that the new regulations be applicable to those schools whose proposals were submitted post 2012