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124 private primary, nursery schools in Coimbatore face closure

R. Sairam
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A total of 124 private primary and nursery schools in the district face the threat of closure as they could not meet the March 31 deadline to comply with the various State and Central Government norms.

The Department of School Education has been issuing notices to these schools in recent months directing them to act in accordance with norms.

While two preliminary notices were served pointing out the deficiencies, the third and final notice means that the schools could be shut down at any point of time after it is served, official sources told The Hindu here on Wednesday.

The new schools established since 2007, when the State Government introduced new norms, have not been accorded recognition till they fulfilled the norms.

Schools that had obtained recognition before this period but failed to meet these new norms have been given notices directing them to comply.

Besides not meeting the land criteria, an official said that a Panel Engineer, recognised by the District Collector, must submit Forms A, B and C certifying to the structural soundness of the school building.

The tahsildar concerned would certify that the building was meant exclusively for a school.

The tahsildar would also specify the student capacity, which the school must not exceed.

Safety and ‘no-objection’ certificates must also be obtained from the Departments of Public Health and Fire Service.

Further, the building plan of the school must have been approved by the local body concerned.

Many schools in Coimbatore, the official added, were operating from buildings constructed for some other purpose and converted into an educational institution. On many occasions, local bodies refuse to approve such schools.

A senior Education Department official said, “Some of these schools have not renewed their recognition since 2007. We have served notices directing them to fulfil the norms as in the future, the Government could take a strict view and shut them down.”

Delay

The official conceded that some of these schools were unable to get their recognition renewed due to delay on part of Government officials in inspecting their premises or moving the schools’ file.

The Right of Children To Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) specified that schools functioning without recognition could be fined Rs. 1 lakh for the first day of functioning and Rs. 10,000 for every subsequent day.

It is learnt that scores of unrecognised matriculation schools were also functioning in the district.

However, the Inspector of Matriculation Schools could not be contacted to ascertain if they had been issued notices.

Building plan of the school must have been approved by the local body concerned

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