‘The Government must have taken this move much earlier’
Commotion broke out on Monday in several of the 30 primary and nursery schools in the district that were closed by the Department of School Education for either not obtaining or renewing their recognition.
Of these, 12 schools were closed on May 14 and the remaining 18 on June 8.
Angry parents argued with government school headmasters who had come to put up closure notices on the schools. They were detained by parents in at least two such schools. The parents refused to leave the school premises till they were assured that these institutions will resume functioning. The Government must have taken this move much earlier as now, with the academic year having begun, getting an admission into a new school would be extremely difficult, said N. Raj Kumar, who had admitted his son to LKG at J.K. Primary and Nursery School at Okkilipalayam in Coimbatore district which was among the schools closed on Saturday last.
Another parent said the officials must consider the interest of the children before closing the schools.
The parents got into a heated argument with District Educational Elementary Education Officer (DEEO) T. Ganeshamoorthy who came to the school to pacify them.
The DEEO told the parents that the school had been served three notices, with the first one served in June 2012, asking it to comply with the norms and obtain recognition. The school had failed to fulfil the criteria and had not obtained recognition.
Even though the parents said they were happy with the services provided by the school, he informed them that Right of Children To Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) prohibited any school from operating without having obtained recognition and imposed a penalty of Rs. 1 lakh on the first day of functioning without recognition and Rs. 10,000 for every day from thereon.
After nearly an hour of negotiations, he told the school management to expeditiously fulfil the norms for getting recognition after which the school would be allowed to function.
Mr. Ganeshamoorthy reiterated that no school would be allowed to function without having obtained or renewed its recognition. The students of schools closed down would be given assistance in joining nearby recognised schools.
Tamil Nadu Nursery, Primary, Matriculation and Higher Secondary Schools Welfare Association General secretary G. Krishnaraj told The Hindu that the schools planned to move the Madras High Court for a stay on the closure notice. He alleged that norms were not followed in serving the final notice.
Meanwhile, many schools had not disclosed the real situation to the parents. Some schools informed the parents that they had extended the summer vacations.