Schools get another month to comply with RTE rules
A majority of institutes in the city that did not get fresh recognition for the new academic year because they did not meet Right to Education criteria like clean water, hygiene, playing area have been given a new deadline to reapply
City schools that failed to get fresh recognition for the new academic session by not meeting stipulations of Right to Education (RTE) Act will get a month more to reapply.
Out of 435 schools in south Mumbai only 47 got fresh recognitions, while in north zone 70 out of 491 schools got it. The western zone education department refused to share the numbers.
As per the RTE rule that came in force from April 1, 2010, schools are required to follow certain RTE norms like separate toilets for girls and boys, adequate water facility for maintaining loos and hygienic conditions, drinking water facility, kitchen/store, classrooms, playground and so forth.
The city schools were supposed to fulfil these RTE criteria and apply for fresh recognition before March 31. However, 15 days ago, the BMC authorities after inspection informed the schools whether they got fresh recognitions. Some schools that are more than 100 years old also couldn’t get recognition.
Only 137 schools of 926 schools from north and south zones got the fresh recognition and rest were given notices to reapply, while data for western zone was unavailable.
M Kamble, South Mumbai education inspector, said, “Many schools were sent notices by our department to reapply after the BMC education officer sent us a list of schools that did and did not get recognition. The schools that didn’t get it have been given one month to reapply.”
Another official from north zone claims that the BMC shared the information of school recognition with them, but the department has not decided who will send notices to the schools.
“BMC just sent us the list of schools that couldn’t get fresh recognition as they didn’t meet the RTE criteria. Now they want us to take action. But since the civic body is authorised to do that, we are in discussion about who will take action.”
MP Sharma, director of GM Somani School, said, “We are an unaided minority school and yet the education department sent us the forms to apply for recognition. The unaided minority approached the high court over the recognition issue in 2009 and that time itself the court gave an order to exempt unaided minority schools from RTE rules.”
Some schools refused to divulge details on recognition to avoid panic among parents. Manjur Ahmed, principal of Anjuman Khairul Islam boys’ school said, “The schools were informed four to five days ago about the status of their recognition.
The education department can’t derecognise the school as RTE does not give it any right to do that. But the schools can inform the department of the deadline by which they will comply with the conditions or the features they are lacking as per RTE rules.”