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‘Illegal’ schools in Thane continue to thrive despite FIR

Updated on: 10 June,2024 07:15 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Dipti Singh |

Social activist says action taken so far by TMC mere eyewash, he has fee receipts proving institutes still admitting pupils

‘Illegal’ schools in Thane continue to thrive despite FIR

The Alhadi Maktab and Public School in Rabodi. File pic

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‘Illegal’ schools in Thane continue to thrive despite FIR

Despite the registration of an FIR by education officials of the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC), schools declared illegal continue to operate and collect fees from students as the new academic year begins.

Social activist and complainant Abdul Mannan Abdul Rashid Kazi has alleged that the FIR and other actions were mere formalities and an eyewash, with no concrete action taken against Alhadi Maktab and Public School in Rabodi, which was declared unauthorised by the TMC.

According to Kazi, the TMC, like other municipal corporations and district education offices, releases a list of illegal and unauthorised schools every year. However, despite these lists, the civic body has done nothing to stop these schools.

A notice on the wall of an unauthorised school in the jurisdiction of the Thane Municipal CorporationA notice on the wall of an unauthorised school in the jurisdiction of the Thane Municipal Corporation

Section 18 (5) of the RTE Act 2009 states that any person or organisation that establishes or runs a school without obtaining a certificate of recognition, or continues to run a school after withdrawal of recognition, shall be liable to a fine which may extend to R1 lakh, and in the case of continuing contraventions, a fine of Rs 10,000 per day as long as such contravention continues.

Activist speak

“Most schools declared illegal are operating openly without any hurdles. The education department should have shut these schools down or at least restricted them until the hearing. However, with the new academic year, these schools have taken new admissions. Last year, after constant follow-ups and repeated complaints, education officials filed an FIR against Alhadi Maktab and Public School in Rabodi in July 2023. The school should have shut down after that. However, we have student fee receipts from February and April, proving the school is still operating,” said Kazi.

Abdul Mannan Abdul Rashid Kazi, activistAbdul Mannan Abdul Rashid Kazi, activist

Kazi added, “I inquired with both the police and TMC education officials but have been getting vague replies. This proves they want to continue this nexus and the actions they show on paper are just an eyewash.”

Of the 47 institutes on the list published last year by the TMC, 42 are English-medium schools, while two and three are Marathi and Hindi-medium, respectively. Most are located in Diva, while the rest are scattered around Thane, Mumbra-Kausa and Kalwa. According to TMC, a total of four schools are off the list. Two of these, both in the Kausa area of Mumbra, were shut down in June last year, while two others, one in Daighar and another in Kausa, applied for self-financed status around the same time.

Vijay Salve, the TMC official who registered the FIR against the Alhadi Maktab and Public School, was unavailable for comment.

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