Crackdown by School Education Department in the district
The School Education Department in the district has begun a crackdown on nursery and primary schools functioning for long without sufficient infrastructural facilities such as strong buildings, spacious playgrounds, airy classrooms, broad stairways, adequate toilets and hygienic environment.
The department has identified 60 such schools and 13 of them had been ordered to close down, according to Chief Educational Officer C.Amuthavalli. The rest of the schools have been given a month’s time to prove that they are fully qualified for grant of continuous recognition required to run them.
Talking to The Hindu, the CEO said it was also mandatory for the schools functioning on rented or leased premises to submit copies of the contract entered into with property owners, building plan approvals, stability certificates from authorised engineers and so on.
However, many schools had failed to submit such documents while applying for continuous recognition. Hence, the District Elementary Education Officer (in-charge) T.Vijayalakshmi had prepared a list of such schools and submitted it to Collector Anshul Mishra for necessary orders. Welcoming the move, C.Kamaraj, a 66-year-old paediatrician, said the move would benefit scores of land owners like him who had been put to hardship after having given their properties on lease to private school managements. “Once, these schools take control of the property, they construct additional structures with the help of forged documents and refuse to vacate the premises stating that the schools are well-established and it will not be possible to relocate them,” he said.
The paediatrician had been struggling for years to get a nursery and primary school vacated from his property at Villapuram Housing Board Colony. He had initially approached the anti-land grab cell of the police department, but the school management moved a lower court and obtained a status quo order.
Thereafter, he had been petitioning various authorities. Recent applications filed by him under the Right to Information Act revealed that the school in his property was functioning without grant of continuous recognition as it had not submitted requisite documents.
Ms.Vijayalakshmi said the department was initiating action against such schools. She pointed out that the management of Sri Kala Nursery and Primary School, which was among those ordered to be closed down, at Simmakkal also had a dispute with the property owner.
“This school is actually functioning in a residential building in Adhimoolam Pillai Agraharam. The CEO inspected the building last month and found that it was not suitable for running a school. Hence, she ordered its closure. Similar action would be taken against all erring schools,” she added.