Around 900 primary and nursery schools in the State are on the verge of getting closure notices for their failure to adhere to rules on infrastructure, according to an umbrella organisation of schools.
Addressing media personnel here on Saturday, Kalai Vijayakumar, State president of Tamil Nadu Nursery and Primary Schools Association (TNNPSA) and Tamil Nadu Matriculation Schools Association (TNMSA) appealed to officials to relax procedures and extend validity of recognition given to schools to five years from the current period of three years.
Elaborating on problems with getting lease agreements, Vijayakumar said that most primary and nursery schools run in rental buildings whose owners are rarely willing to provide lease agreements for a period of seven or ten years as required by the government.
Vijayakumar claimed that another major problem facing around 1,700 schools was rules on minimum land area.
Government regulations specify that a school should have a minimum area of at least six grounds while one in a municipality should at least have an area of 10 grounds.
Vijayakumar questioned how a school located in a corporation could get enough land in expensive and congested areas. He said that it should be applied only to newly built schools.
Vijayakumar also called for streamlining the process of issuing fitness certificates (FC) for schools to maintain their own buses.
Vijayakumar also claimed that the current procedures adopted by Regional Transport Offices (RTO), which issue certificates only for a few hours in a week, made schools dependent on rented vehicles.
Vijayakumar also referred to the enforcement of new rules that require schools to get approval from the Local Planning Authority (LPA), which had sent to notices to schools and colleges in their districts to pay `148 per sq feet.
Vijayakumar questioned the need for this rule since schools already had approval from their respective civic bodies.
There has been increased focus on infrastructure in schools as the State government has tightened regulations in recent years while the Central government had set March 31 as the deadline for schools across India to implement provisions of the Right to Education Act, which also sets standards for infrastructure.