1.5K private ones await recognition in Tamil Nadu

COIMBATORE: Of the 7,000-odd private schools in Tamil Nadu getting ready to reopen in the next 10 days, recognition of about 1,500 schools, or over 20% of them, has not been renewed yet by the school education department for academic year 2024-2026 due to various deficiencies.

According to official sources, as per norms, private matriculation schools must submit application for renewal of recognition once every three years by submitting certificates for building licence, structural stability, fire and sanitation, among others.

Since 2016, private schools were also mandated to get regularisation certificate for their buildings from the Directorate of Town and Country Planning (DTCP) or Local Planning Authority (LPA). The schools should then submit the certificate to the school education department to get their recognition renewed.

“But thousands of private schools could not get the certificate from DTCP or LPA as they had constructed their buildings 20 to 30 years ago with the consent of local bodies,” a senior official said.

‘Contrary to court order, dept is not renewing recognition of pvt schools’

“After private schools flagged the practical difficulty in getting the regularisation certificate, school education department started giving them temporary recognition renewal orders once in two years or three years from 2018,” another official said.

“In 2022, the school education department issued recognition renewal order for more than 1,500 schools across the state for the academic year 2022-2023, 2023-2024 through a GO. Their recognition got expired on May 31. Now, the schools can get their recognition renewed for 2024-2025 only if the school education department issues a fresh GO,” sources added.

Tamil Nadu Nursery Primary Matriculation Higher Secondary Schools Association president KR Nandhakumar told TNIE, “Getting approval from DTCP or LPA for the building is unnecessary as most of these schools had got permission from local bodies and were functioning for more than 40 years. The norm should be applicable only to new schools,” he said.

“Though the Madras High Court had ruled that there was no need to get regularisation certificate for buildings constructed before 2011 from DTCP or LPA, the school education department is refusing to renew the recognition of schools,” he said.

A matriculation school principal in Coimbatore told TNIE, “Three months ago, we applied for the renewal with the school education department through online. But we have not got any response from them. Without recognition renewal, we could not send school buses for annual checking to the transport officer for NOC.”

S Arumainathan, president, Tamil Nadu Students and Parents Welfare Association, told TNIE, “Schools could not submit their proposal for fixation of fee to the Tamil Nadu Private Schools Fee Determination Committee. Thus, fee for many private schools were not uploaded on the committee’s website. Taking advantage, many private schools are collecting higher fee,” he said.

A Palanisamy, Director of Matriculation Schools, said that they have taken steps to issue certificate and a government order will be issued soon. School education department secretary J Kumaragururbaran said he would look into it.

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