They are claiming minority status without valid certification

Seventeen private schools in Bangalore that claim to be minority institutions though they do not figure on the list of minority schools will be in the soup with the Department of Public Instruction threatening to cancel their No-Objection Certificate (NOC) that is needed to continue their affiliation with the State or Central boards for school education.

The minority unaided schools are exempted from providing 25 per cent seats under the RTE quota for children from the “weaker sections and disadvantaged backgrounds”.

Padmavathi, Deputy Director of Public Instruction (DDPI), Bangalore South, said that even though a notice had been issued to the 17 schools, most of them had not responded. The few, which had responded, had refused admission under the RTE quota and dared the government to take action against them.

Panel to probe issue

A three-member committee comprising an educationist, representative from civil society and a government representative would soon be formed to probe into the issue of minority status claimed by the said schools and recommend for withdrawal of the NOC to the respective DDPI. “As most of these schools offer CBSE and ICSE syllabus, we have the authority to cancel the NOC. For State board schools, we will withdraw affiliation as per Section 12 of the RTE rules framed by the State government.”

These schools will not be able to function without the affiliation of either of the boards, the official added.

While only the Commission headed by the Commissioner of Public Instruction (CPI) can provide religious and linguistic minority status to schools, the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions is empowered to decide disputes related to religious minority schools as appellate authority and pass orders on the issue of minority tag.

However, Commissioner for Public Instruction Mohammed Mohsin, said several schools were claiming minority status after obtaining certificates from various associations.

“One school in Anekal even claims to be a minority school based on the certificate issued by the village accountant. However we have made it clear that schools can be called minority schools only if they get a certificate from the two Commissions concerned. Other certificates are invalid,” he added.

Rajesh Kumar, a resident near Betadaspura, who applied for a seat at a private school for his son in LKG, said: “Initially I rejoiced that my son got a seat in such a prestigious school, but my happiness was short-lived as the school has now refused to give him a seat. Most private schools have completed their admissions and my child might have to waste one year.”

More In: Bangalore