The state government sanctioned 2,417 new self-financed schools to be run by registered trusts and societies last week. However, owing to a procedural delay, the schools are unlikely to open this academic year. More than 7,000 applications were received by the state to create new schools and upgrade existing ones.
Self-financed schools are private schools that are non-aided. In order to get permission to run, new schools need a minimum land of half an acre in Mumbai, one acre in other cities and two acres in rural areas. They must also pay a monetary deposit – ranging between Rs2 lakh and Rs20 lakh – to the state government and follow certain infrastructure norms.
Of the applications that got the nod, 1,166 are for Marathi medium schools, while 1,145 are for English medium schools. Only 105 schools sanctioned are Hindi and Urdu medium. Only 10% of the schools that got the nod belong to ICSE, CBSE and other central boards. The rest are state board schools.
“Keeping the trend of inclination towards English medium education, we were expecting more applications for English medium schools than Marathi medium schools. We received 3,588 applications for English and 3,094 for Marathi language schools, but the approval percentage was better for the Marathi medium schools,” said an officer from the school education department.
“We are in process of issuing Letter of Intent (LoI) to the schools that have got the approval. Once they comply with the Right to Education (RTE) Act provisions and we are satisfied with the compliance, the Letter of Approval (LoA) will be issued to them to start the school,” said JS Saharia, additional chief secretary, school education. He added the LoI will be issued in a week’s time and the LoA can be obtained two weeks after that.
However, since the academic year has already started in most schools, a two-week delay would mean having to wait till next year to begin classes, sources said.