In a notification, the state government has mentioned that it will impose a charge of Rs 10,000 per day on schools that are running without formal recognition.
According to members of the Shikshan Hakk Samanvay Samiti (SHSS), a state-level coordination committee formed for unaided Marathi-medium schools that will undertake the protest along with the NGO Marathi Abhyas Kendra (MAK), the government in 2005 and 2008 had announced that there was a need to set up about 2,000 more Marathi schools, of which the primary levels would be run by the government while the secondary schools would be run by private institutions.
“Accordingly, the private institutions started the schools and applied for recognition, which has not been approved till date. The government instead annulled all applications, despite knowing that schools were already functioning and were simply waiting for permission,” said Ramesh Panase, convener of SHSS.
According to the GR issued last year, the government has asked for new proposals to set up primary and secondary private Marathi schools, for which it will identify new places and has sought immediate closure of the existing unaided schools.
The private schools, which have been fighting over the issue for over two years, claim that on the one hand the Centre is talking about opening new schools to promote the Right to Education, while on the other hand the state government is trying to shut down the schools that are already running.
In the city, there are about 20 such private unaided Marathi schools which might face closure or will be forced to shell out a fine every month.
“The government has been giving us a guarantee time and again that it will give us recognition, but to no avail. We’ll discuss it with the higher authorities and decide what is to be done,” said an administrator of Shankarrao More Marathi high school at Paud.
School Education Minister Rajendra Darda has promised a new education act soon for all self-financed schools that will give them certain rights and allow them to continue.