School Education Department asks BEOs to publish details on recognised schools in Karnataka

To not jeopardise children's future, the department warned schools and allowed for fresh registration, if they had appropriate affiliations
Image for representative purpose only | (Picture: Express)
Image for representative purpose only | (Picture: Express)

The Department of School Education and Literacy (DSEL) ordered illegal schools to shut down immediately. Additionally, it has directed block education officers (BEOs) to publish details of all private schools that are registered and recognised under their jurisdiction to help parents and other stakeholders, reported The New Indian Express.

A circular issued by the department on January 9 states that after one week, officials concerned should conduct a site inspection and send a report to the BEO on whether such schools are closed. “Schools conducting advanced classes for grades VI to X will be given a final opportunity of 45 days to obtain permission in accordance with the set rules. If the management continues with classes, it shall be treated as unauthorised and students will be barred from the Students Achievement Tracking System (SATS),” warned the circular.

To not jeopardise children's future, the department warned schools and allowed for fresh registration, if they had appropriate affiliations. 

Violations that attract disqualification include:

Running schools without registration

Teaching unauthorised curriculum

Changing curriculum from State to Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Board 

Allowing additional sections or grades without prior approval

Changing the medium of instruction without approval

Conducting classes for different boards (CBSE, ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education), IB (International Baccalaureate)) without affiliation

Starting departments without the knowledge of the competent authority

Strict actions will also be taken against institutions teaching state curriculum but making use of other textbooks in classrooms, despite warnings, the circular stated. Additionally, it also warned BEOs and DDPIs (Deputy Director of Public Instruction) that if any illegal, unauthorised schools are found in their jurisdiction, action will be taken against them.

Minister for School Education and Literacy Madhu Bangarappa revealed last year that the state has over 1,600 illegal schools. He had warned that such illegal schools would be closed in a phased manner and students shifted to other schools.

Further, criticising the latest circular, the Associated Managements of English Medium Schools In Karnataka (KAMS) charged that the department does not have any clarity on its orders and it is creating only a sense of fear and confusion among schools and parents. KAMS Secretary Shashi Kumar D feared that the circular could lead to rampant corruption in the department.

KAMS questioned what will happen to schools that have appealed before the high court or Appellate Authority has issued interim stay orders. Kumar said the rule specifies that one year should be given to schools for 'safe exit' and it cannot be done between academic years. But the government is going back on its word. 

“The department has also not updated the circular on the number of students to start additional sections. The previous one limits it to 40 and does it still stand valid? Which one is to be followed,” he asked, The New Indian Express reported.

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