BANGALORE: The state government seems to be unsure of how to go about taking action against unauthorised schools. Primary and Secondary Education Minister Kimmane Ratnakar on Wednesday said the government was looking at legal provisions to act against such schools.
He was speaking to reporters after holding a meeting with officials. They have been holding talks with legal experts and are expected to decide the course of action by Thursday evening, before the minister’s meeting with parents.
Though the government provides NOCs to schools affiliated to other boards, it has no powers to disaffiliate them. It can only make recommendations to the respective boards. This is what the department did with Vibgyor High, Marathalli, which was also functioning without CBSE affiliation.
Ratnakar said the officials were looking at the Supreme Court verdict on language policy, in which schools teaching in English medium after obtaining permission for Kannada medium could get shelter. “The schools have said they have made a submission to the Supreme Court. When this is the case, we need to look at the judgment before taking any action,” he said.
Meanwhile, the proposed amendments to the Karnataka Education Act, 1983, is before the Legal Department.
Ratnakar said by the next three months, the department will control all the schools, irrespective of their affiliation to various boards. “We are trying to place the amendments at the next session,” he said.
Future on Thin Ice
The future of students of the unauthorised Orchids school, where a three-year-old was raped a few days ago, is in jeopardy. Ratnakar said on Wednesday that parents of Classes 6 and 7 and nursery students are worried as the school doesn’t have permission to run these classes. “Parents are requesting that permission be given for this academic year, but the government has no powers under the law to allow them to continue. We will finalise (the course of action) by Thursday,” he said.
Under the RTE Act, even if the school is allowed to hold these classes, penalty should be collected every day; this would create an unaffordable situation.
Sources said, eight schools in north Bangalore have been identified to accommodate nursery students. However, this is not the case with Class 6 and 7 students.
Know the Status
Kimmane Ratnakar has directed block education officers of all 204 blocks across the state to identify unrecognised schools and file criminal cases against them. The status report of recognised and unrecognised schools will be hosted on the department’s website within a month. Based on the list, parents can decide where to admit their wards. The list will be posted on www.schooleducation.kar.nic.in.
On BEO’s Suspension
Minister Ratnakar justified the suspension of the North 1 BEO in the Orchids case. “Suspension is not a punishment. We will conduct an inquiry and if he is not guilty, we will revoke the suspension. We are also initiating action against all the officials who have violated rules,” he said.