With Parliamentary elections over, associations representing private schools have urged the Department of School Education to act expeditiously on several important issues.
With barely two weeks to go before the next academic year, which begins on June 2, the associations are seeking clarity on a range of issues starting from the minimum land requirements, closure of unrecognised schools, norms for school buses and reimbursement of fees for students admitted under Right To Education (RTE) Act.
Tamil Nadu Nursery, Primary, Matriculation and Higher Secondary Schools Welfare Association general secretary G. Krishnaraj says many files submitted for recognition have been pending for months awaiting inspection by the officials.
With election over and the Plus Two and Class X valuation also completed, the department officials must act with haste as the private schools are prohibited from operating without recognition, he adds.
R. Visalakshi, president of Tamil Nadu Private Schools Association, says RTE Act norms limiting the strength to 30 students per class must also be revisited. The space available in the schools must be factored in while determining the strength.Infrastructure
“Many schools which are functioning for decades have the infrastructure to support a lot more students per class. The Act is being implemented in Tamil Nadu only since 2011. Within such a short span, how can schools reduce the strength in all classes to 30?” she asks.
Further, she also calls for according permanent recognition to private schools and mandating them to periodically seek certifications. At present, they must renew recognition every three years. This process alone takes almost a year, adds Ms. Visalakshi.
R. Lakshmanasamy, president of Pollachi Private Schools’ Welfare Association, says the department must accord priority to the issue of reimbursing private schools for students admitted under the RTE Act.
Despite two years having elapsed since the Act came into force, the Government is yet to even designate district level officers to coordinate with private schools on the issue of reimbursement.