Officers have been provided with lists of schools that were closed down in the past two years

The Directorate of Elementary Education has begun conducting inspections across Coimbatore district to ensure that private schools that were closed down due to lack of recognition did not reopen without permission.

Official sources told The Hindu here on Friday that all Assistant Elementary Officers (AEO) have been instructed to undertake inspections at the block-level. This action was initiated following information that some schools that were closed down had reopened without authorisation.

The officers have been provided with lists of schools that were closed down in the past two years. The School Education Department had closed down 49 nursery and primary schools in Coimbatore this year in addition to 26 schools last year as they had failed to obtain/renew recognition.

Section 18(i) of the rules framed under the Right To Education Act stated that no school, other than those owned or controlled by the State Government or a local body, could function without obtaining a certificate of recognition. Those schools violating this rule would be levied a penalty of Rs. 1 lakh on the first day of functioning without recognition and Rs. 10,000 for every day thereon.

Surveillance

Further, surveillance would also be stepped up to prevent new schools from coming up without obtaining recognition. The AEOs would also inspect new schools to ascertain their status.

Playschools and kindergartens would also be inspected to establish the category of recognition they had obtained.

Many schools had come up in the district in recent years with many of them operating out of homes.

These were in violation of the Government norms on safety, sources said.

The drive was taken up following directions from the Department of School Education to ensure all educational institutions had obtained recognition and adhered to Government norms on safety and infrastructure.