As many as 931 private schools in Punjab have been closed for non-compliance of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) norms and the process of de-recognition and closure of 219 such schools has started.
Principal secretary, department of school education, Punjab, Anjali Bhawra, informed the Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday that directions had already been issued to district education officers (DEOs) to admit students studying in such institutions to neighbourhood schools. The state government had granted time to these schools till March 31 to comply with the norms of the RTE Act, 2009, and the Punjab RTE Rules, 2011, but they failed to remove the deficiencies and inform the same to the respective DEOs.
The court was informed that there were 9,301 schools in the state in the private domain, of which 8,888 had applied for fresh recognition up to March 12 and 421 had failed to submit their self-declaration form despite several reminders.
The information was submitting during the resumed hearing of a petition filed by Balraj Singh of Gurdaspur district along with other persons from various districts. Disposing of the case, the court directed the state authorities to continue with its action against the defaulter schools and submit the compliance report by November 11.
The petitioners had submitted that various elementary/primary schools in the state were neither following any uniform curriculum nor having proper building infrastructure. It was added that there was no accountability of the student-teacher ratio in these schools, ultimately resulting in deterioration of the standard of education.