COIMBATORE: In a bid to streamline the functioning of play schools in the State, the School Education Department has come up with a new regulation.
As per the Code of Regulation for Play Schools 2015, the schools should have a pupil-teacher ratio of 15:1. Also, the minimum age for admission shall be completion of one-and-a-half years as on July 31 of the year.
The play schools should have CCTV cameras and should provide the minimum space of 10 sq ft per child in the classroom, which should be located in the ground floor. Other facilities such as potable drinking water, toilet and facility for children to sleep are also required.
In June, the department had released the draft regulation and the final regulation was notified through a GO issued by Secretary D Sabitha on December 22.
The new regulation said the existing schools have to get approval from the District Elementary Education Officer (DEEO) within six months and new schools need approval before it started functioning.
The matter was first highlighted in a PIL in the Madras High Court, which sought closure of about 760 play schools in the state for allegedly functioning without affiliation or approval from the government.
A panel comprising Assistant Elementary Education Officer should give its recommendations on grant of approval or rejection. The approval will be valid for three years and schools need to apply for renewal three months before its expiry.
The approval will be withdrawn by the District Elementary Education Officer for violation of any provision of the ‘Code of Regulation for Play Schools 2015’ or any abuse or misuse by the management.
As per the code, the appointment of teachers should be done only after thorough verification and certification by local police to avoid recruiting person with a criminal background.
“The school shall admit children residing within a radius of three km. No child shall be subjected to admission test, written or oral for granting admission to the school. The school shall work for not more than three hours per session and may run for more than one session with different set of students. The school shall open not earlier than 9.30 am and shall close not later than 4.30 pm,” it said. Coimbatore District Elementary Educational Officer P Gandhimadhi said the the Assistant Elementary Education Officers will be asked to check whether existing play schools are complying with the new regulation and based on their report , renewal or new approval will be given.
Tamil Nadu Nursery, Primary, Metric Higher Secondary Schools Welfare Association general secretary G Krishnaraj said it will not be feasible to run the play schools with conditions like only 15 children in a classroom. He said it will affect middle and lower level play schools, which are in a majority, he added.