KOCHI: Even while stress is laid on the quality of the CBSE schools, only 10 per cent of the schools in the State have applied for rating and accreditation so far. Accreditation was made mandatory a year ago, but only 1,500 schools in the country have gone for it yet.
The CBSE had made it compulsory that every school affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education be accredited once in every five years. After the accreditation, the schools get a ‘Permanently Affiliated’ status.
CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi said that the number of schools seeking accreditation is very low because they might be waiting to get a clear idea about the process as they are given three years’ time.
“Only the managements which are confident about the quality of their schools have applied for accreditation.
Others might be waiting either to ensure the quality of the school internally, or to get clarity on the process,” he said.
“We will have regional meetings to give clarity on the accreditation process. We will tell the school authorities how to go about it. We hope that more schools will apply after that,” he added.
The schools that are willing to undergo the process, which is called the School Quality Assessment and Accreditation Scheme (SQAA), have to apply online by filling the ‘Form of Intent’ on the CBSE website.
Schools that have completed five years are eligible for accreditation. Schools that do not get accredited in three years will be given an extra year to get it done. However, the schools will lose affiliation if they do not get accredited within the stipulated time. The rule came into effect this academic year.
To be eligible for accreditation, the schools must fulfil several criteria, including those related to infrastructure and the quality of staff.
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On the issue of not paying the minimum salary to teachers, as directed by the CBSE, Vineet Joshi said, “our stance is clear on this issue. Schools must pay teachers the salary they deserve. In the case of Kerala, there is also High Court intervention. If we receive any report of non-compliance we will take strict action.” Responding to questions on fee hike in CBSE schools, he said, “although the CBSE by-law states that schools could hike their fee at par with the facilities they provide, it should be done after taking the parents into confidence. In most of the cases, this does not happen, hence the allegations of unreasonable fee hike.”