Published: 09th May 2019
Students of unrecognised schools in Kerala can join government-run or aided schools from next month
As per the statistics available with the Education Department, as many as 1,585 unrecognised schools are still functioning in the state
The General Education Department of Kerala has allowed students studying in unrecognised schools the opportunity to join government or aided schools from the academic year starting next month. The move aims to deter the mushrooming of unrecognised schools in the state. The government is also planning action against unrecognised schools, including closing them down.
The department order allowing students to join government/aided schools was issued following complaints students were unable to get proper guidance or quality education in private unrecognised schools which are increasing in number. The order said students of Class I to Class VIII can join their next grade in government/aided schools without a transfer certificate. For students of Class IX and Class X, an entrance examination is mandatory. Sources in the department said the order was the first step of taking action against such schools. “Efforts are on to close down unrecognised schools,” officers said.
As per the statistics available with the Education Department, as many as 1,585 unrecognised schools are still functioning in the state. While 1,194 schools applied for recognition last year, only 395 schools received recognition. Last year, the department has asked all unaided schools lacking recognition to down shutters and enrol their students studying in Classes I to VIII to the nearby government or aided schools. However, the government could act on it only this year. Department officers said the action is part of the implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) rules. As per the rule, no elementary school (from Classes I to VIII) can function without the state government’s recognition. When the RTE Act was implemented in the state in 2011, a three-year time frame was given to all unaided schools to obtain a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the state government subject to fulfilment of stringent conditions. In 2015, schools were given another opportunity to obtain NOC, with penalty prescribed for institutions not falling in line. Subsequently, around 600 schools, which managed to obtain affiliation from the CBSE or the CISCE, were given NOC by the state government.
After the LDF Government assumed power, it was decided no fresh NOC will be issued to unrecognised schools. The decision was challenged by the school managements in the High Court and a verdict is pending. The action soon General Education secretary A Shahjahan said action against unrecognised schools will be initiated after the election process is wrapped up. All such schools will be closed down in the coming academic year itself. “We will take action including closing down the schools soon. As far as CBSE/CISCE-affiliated schools are concerned, we have started the process to give NOCs to schools based on their applications to the DPI. We will accept applications from other unrecognised schools as well and act on them based on their veracity as per guidelines are given in the RTE Act,” Shahjahan said.