Maharashtra government today told the Legislative Assembly that strict action would be taken to curb the growing trend,especially in south Mumbai,of closing down the schools and using the premises for commercial purposes.
Replying to a debate started through a calling-attention notice,School Education Minister Rajendra Darda said the government did not allow closure of schools for taking up commercial activity.
Also,stringent measures were being planned to limit the number of CBSE and ICSE board schools in Mumbai,he said.
Members complained that CBSE and ICSE schools were coming up in the vicinity of slum areas as well,and even the SSC board schools were switching over to CBSE.
Norms for giving permission to start CBSE schools will be announced within ten days,the Minister said. “Every year two to four schools shut for renovation. But no school is allowed to carry out commercial activities. A school shut for make-over will have to continue educational activities on the premises,” he said.
The calling-attention notice had been moved by BJP MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha. Saying that prominent institutes in South Mumbai were shutting down the schools for exploiting the place commercially,Lodha asked what action government was taking.
Even the Speaker,Dilip Walse-Patil,said that not only schools,but even some colleges in South Mumbai were in the process of closing down,for commercial gains. “It is a serious issue. The government should take a policy decision to curb such activities,” the Speaker added.
Darda said he would put the issue before the Cabinet.
The Minister also announced that a committee comprising himself,Minister of State for Education,Mumbai municipal commissioner and local MLAs will be formed to look into the complaints of use of educational premises for commercial gains,donations,exorbitant fees,etc.