Representational image. | Image Courtesy: Indian Express
The High Court of Kerala has ordered a shutdown of all self-financing schools without approval, from this academic year itself.
There are about 2,000 self-financing English medium schools in the state which do not have accreditation. Only schools which have more than 350 students, 2.8 acre land, and infrastructure facilities including playground have been allowed to apply for approval.
A total number of 870 unaided schools have applied for affiliation with CBSE and other boards, the state government informed the High Court.
C Ramakrishnan, who is part of Kerala government’s Public Education Rejuvenation Mission told NewsClick, “Those schools without approvals have to be shut down. The schools working without approvals are illegal. They got time until 2015. Now, it is 2019. There is a condition that to start any new institution, approval is required, except for schools. The verdict is clearly an indication of change through constitutional setup.”
Many of the unaided schools that do not have an approval are working without proper curriculum, infrastructure facilities and good teachers. Most of these schools do not have a strength of even 300 students and classes after class VII.
Ramakrishnan added: “Education is not a standalone activity. And that is why every nation has a curriculum of its own. And the curriculum should be made with respect to the prime values of the nation. But these schools without approval are doing exactly opposite of the values that are meant to be part of education and social system. Whether it is the Left government or Right government, without addressing this issue, we cannot move forward.”
As per the existing criteria, the new institutions are allowed to give an application for a licence. If the government rejects the application adhering to the rules, the institution is not eligible to operate.
According to the government order, students from these schools do not require their Transfer Certificate to join up to class VII in government schools. However, for standard IX and X, students require documents proving their age.
The High Court verdict is going to help the public education sector of the state, which is on the path of rejuvenation. As per the government records, the number of students who have newly joined the government and aided schools have increased in last two years. In the last academic year, a total number of 1,85,971 new students took admission in government and government-aided schools, with an increase of about 40,000 new students.
The state has about 13,000 schools in the government and government-aided sector. In the last academic year, the increase in admissions was by 6.3% in government schools and 5.4% in aided schools. On the other hand, there is a decrease in students joining unaided schools by about 8%.
The All Kerala Self Financing Schools Federation is moving to court saying that the state government is not accepting their application for NOC.
(Sachin is an intern with Newsclick)
Also read: Kerala’s Public Schools See Rise in Enrolment for Third Year