KOCHI: In a major setback to the state government, the Kerala High Court on Monday held that only schools recommended by a six-member committee, headed by the Director of Higher Secondary Education, are eligible for starting Plus-two courses and additional batches this year.
The interim order of the Single Bench would result in loss of sanction for new higher secondary schools and batches not recommended by the HSS Director, but which found their way into the list cleared by the Cabinet sub-committee. The court also directed the state government to file a counter affidavit.
The HSE director had proposed to grant 640 batches, including 258 in government and aided sector schools spread across 134 panchayats. It had also proposed 382 additional batches and upgradation of schools. The Cabinet sub-committee had cleared 700 Plus One batches across the state.
Justice P R Ramachandra Menon passed the order while admitting 88 petitions filed by school managements and Parent Teachers Associations (PTA) challenging the decision of the government not to grant higher secondary schools and additional batches to them.
“No school other than those who find in a place in the recommendation of the six member committee forwarded along with the letter dated May 19, 2014 of the Director shall be given sanction or shall be permitted to function. The director shall give provisional sanction to function forthwith, subject to the conditions stipulated in the government order on July 31,” the court held.
The court also observed that the Director should ensure that no school which failed to meet the requirements as specified under Clause (vii) of the government order shall be permitted to function. The clause stipulates that the school should have an extent of 1.2 hectares of land, building facilities stipulated under provisions of Kerala Education Rule, class room for one batch in an area of 9X6X3.70 metre. It should have 6X6X3.70 metre area for the language section and laboratory space for each science subject in the prescribed specification (12X6X3.70 metre).
The court also held that educational need, if any, in other areas can be considered later, based on the materials to be substantiated.
The court admitted the petitions and issued notices to the state government and HSE director.