More than 90% of the schools in Mumbai have failed to meet the infrastructure norms under the Right to Education (RTE) Act.
Of the 1,703 schools in the city, 1,600 have been blacklisted by the education department for not fulfilling 10 norms — having boundary walls, adequate toilets, drinking water facilities, kitchen sheds, ramps for handicapped students, etc.
As the deadline for compliance with the norms expires on August 31, the state education department has issued notices to erring schools.
A list of these schools will be submitted to the state government, which will take a final decision on the punitive action to be taken against them.
"Schools violating more than four norms are serious offenders and action will be taken against them. Schools had three years to fulfil these norms," said MB Kamble, assistant deputy director of education, Mumbai division.
Only 103 schools in the city have the infrastructure mandated under RTE Act. Managements of the other schools feel that the RTE Act conditions are ‘not practical’ for institutions based in Mumbai.
"Ground realities have to be considered by the government. Some of the norms are restrictive and not at all suited for schools in big cities. The government should consider giving concessions to such schools," said Avnita Bir, principal of RN Podar School, Santacruz.