The management of 3,115 private un-aided English medium schools from across the state has approached Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi seeking his help to get approvals for their institutions from the state government. All these schools were established in 2010, but still haven’t got approved from the government.
“On April 18, we sent a letter to Rahul Gandhi requesting him to ask CM Prithviraj Chavan and School Education Minister Rajendra Darda to give approvals to our schools, which are unnecessarily pending since the past three years,” said Bharat Hokarne, Vice-President of Maharashtra State English School Association (MSESA).
The letter written to Gandhi scion read, “You will be surprised to know that in 2010 Maharashtra government, by giving advertisement, invited applications from people willing to start new English medium schools. Out of the 8,000 applications, 3,115 were found to be fulfilling all requirements. After repeated inspections and verifications by higher authorities of education department, we have started the schools with a hope that soon or later we will receive approval letters. But these proposals are pending till date.”
Speaking to MiD DAY, State Education Director (Primary) Mahaveer Mane said, “Unless the management gets a letter of approval from the government, it is not expected to start the school. The decision on this will be taken from the top.”
However MSESA Chairperson DS Lahane, who represents Shivsai Dnyanpeeth School in Buldana district, while criticizing the state government, said, “They are deliberately crushing small institutions to make way for International schools.” Meanwhile the MSESA has also filed a writ petition in Bombay High Court’s Aurangabad Bench. “On April 9 the court has given the directions to the state government to resolve the issue prior to 31st May,” informed Hokarne.
“All the schools that are awaiting approvals since 2010 are small institutions. Besides, most of the schools are in the rural areas, where the maximum annual fee charged by a school is not more than Rs 10,000. When the government has already done the inspections and other has completed the formalities, then we don’t understand what are they waiting for?” questioned Abbas Sheikh, who runs a school in Ahmednagar. Around 4.5 lakh students are presently studying in these 3,115 schools. Besides, these institutions have generated employment for 60,000 teachers.