The State government will constitute an experts' committee to study the issue of framing a law and rules for regulating recognised private schools in the light of the implementation of the common syllabus for schools of all streams and the Tamil Nadu Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules 2011.
Announcing this in the Assembly on Wednesday at the conclusion of the debate on the demand for grants of his department, School Education Minister N.R. Sivapathi said private schools were being regulated by the Tamil Nadu Recognised Private Schools (Regulation) Act, 1973; Tamil Nadu Recognised Private Schools (Regulation) Rules, 1974 and the Grant-in-Aid Code besides the Codes of Regulation for Nursery and Primary Schools; Anglo-Indian Schools and Matriculation Schools.
[According to the School Education Department's publication placed on the floor of the Assembly during the day, there are 10,896 private schools in the State, of which primary schools account for 6,278; middle schools – 710; high schools – 1,780 and higher secondary schools – 2,128. These schools employ 2,44,716 teachers and have 43,51,054 students].
The government would also set up a committee of experts to determine the minimum extent of land required for primary, middle, high and higher secondary schools, keeping in mind the strength of students and classes.
As of now, the minimum extent of land had been prescribed for starting private schools and seeking recognition for them. As many schools could not fulfil the condition, they were not recognised. In the light of the implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules 2011, such schools were not able to function, the Minister said, explaining the rationale behind the move.
The government would also set up one model school in each of the 26 educationally backward blocks at a cost of Rs. 78 crore. This would benefit 14,560 students.
Transport facilities would be provided to 4,857 children in 361 habitations located in far off and hilly areas spread over eight districts. Children either dropped out of schools or could not join them.
At a rate of Rs. 3,000 per child per year, the total expenditure would be Rs. 1.45 crore. A database on such children would be maintained for monitoring the position through the internet.
A software programme would be developed and Rs. five lakh was sanctioned for this purpose.
One hundred high schools, run by the government and urban local bodies, would be upgraded to higher secondary schools this year.
The Minister also announced that 10 mobile counselling centres would be established at a cost of Rs. three crore for the benefit of students.
This year, 14,349 teachers would be recruited and vacancies in 6,786 non-teaching posts would be filled.