While getting recognition under the Right to Education Act is mandatory for all schools, those in Chandigarh it seems are yet to do the needful.
The education department was to inspect schools under RTE Act to check whether it was fulfilling the requisite norms or not, but it has failed to do so. Under the list of recognised senior secondary, high, middle and primary schools available on the website of Chandigarh education department, it is clearly visible that out of 68 private schools listed on the site, there are more than 20 schools, whose recognition have either expired or are still under process.
The inspection at private schools is reportedly being conducted from past one year under Articles 235, 241-A of the Punjab Education Code along with certain rules adopted from other UT departments. But the move was condemned by private schools in city as they said that rules being imposed were being applied as per Punjab Education Code, which applies to aided schools and not to private unaided schools.
The education department in October, 2011, had asked schools to submit a self-declaration form under RTE Section 18 within three months of the commencement of the Act to the district education officer concerned regarding its compliance or otherwise with norms and if they fail to abide by it they could be asked to pay Rs 1 lakh as fine.
The self-declaration forms were to be placed in public domain within 15 days of its receipt and within three months, the DEO was supposed to conduct inspection of schools, but nothing has been done so far.
The inspection of schools as per the RTE guidelines is important as stated in the act itself. Private schools have asked the education department and the administration to implement the RTE Act in letter and spirit and had even urged them to start inspection of schools in order to get recognition.
A private school principal said: "If a school is not fit for providing education, then how can the act be implemented? Proper inspection should be carried out."
In a letter written by HS Mamik, president, Independent Schools Association, to the department, private schools have urged the district education officer to inspect schools under the act specifically those, which had applied in April 2011, for recognition.
Mamik said: "Schools' inspection needs to be carried out properly and if it is not done, then how can we expect proper implementation of the Act?"DEO, Ram Kumar had formed a committee to speed up the process of providing recognition to schools, but any information on the issue is yet to be heard of.
Advocate Pankaj Chandgothia and Sangeeta Chandgothia, a Panchkula based couple had filed a PIL against education secretary, DPI (schools) and DEO in the district courts in January, 2012, against their failure to obtain and put in public domain, the self-declaration-cum-application for grant of recognition of schools by private unaided schools in city. The reply from the department is still pending.
The schools have filed an application for dismissal of the case, as this is applicable directly to the UT education department and not schools since schools are fulfilling all formalities they need to do in order to get affiliation.
Schools whose recognition has expired
Schools Recognised up to
DAV Public School, Sector-8 31.03.10
New Public School, Sec-18 31.03.08
Bal Niketan Model Sr
Sec School Sector 37 31.03.09
MDAV High School, Sector 22, 31.03.2011
St Stephen's School, Sector 45, 31.03.05
Shishu Niketan, Sector 43 31.03.10
The British School, Sector 44 31.03.10
Nav Bal Niketan, Sector 29 31.03.11