19 schools de­clared il­le­gal in Pan­vel, au­thor­i­ties warn of strict ac­tion

If found to be func­tion­ing, the ad­min­is­tra­tion will levy a fine of Rs1 lakh on them

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - Tas­neem Kausar ■ ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com

PAN­VEL: As many as 19 schools in the taluka have been de­clared il­le­gal and par­ents have been ad­vised not to ad­mit their chil­dren in them.

The taluka ad­min­is­tra­tion plans to levy heavy fines against such schools if they con­tinue to func­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to Pan­vel block ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cer Nav­nath Sable, “When the aca­demic year be­gins from June 15, if we find that an il­le­gal school is func­tion­ing, we will levy a fine of Rs1 lakh on it. For ev­ery day that it func­tions, an ad­di­tional Rs10,000 fine will be levied.”

As it is nec­es­sary for schools to first get govern­ment recog­ni­tion be­fore they start func­tion­ing, some of these schools have re­port­edly ap­plied to the govern­ment for recog­ni­tion and are await­ing a re­sponse.

“De­spite the lack of recog­ni­tion, the schools con­tinue to col­lect fees from the stu­dents,” said Shirish Gharat, a so­cial worker.

There are a to­tal of 264 pri­vate schools in Pan­vel that in­clude un­aided, per­ma­nently un­aided, pri­vate aided, party aided and self-fi­nanced schools.

Un­der the Right To Ed­u­ca­tion, it is manda­tory that puni­tive ac­tion is taken against il­le­gal schools. How­ever, no such ac­tion has been taken by the ad­min­is­tra­tion over the years. Year af­ter year, only no­tices are sent to the schools to shut down.

In the ab­sence of strong ac­tion by the ad­min­is­tra­tion, the schools seem to have lit­tle fear and are func­tion­ing brazenly,” said Gharat.

He added, “The num­ber of il­le­gal schools in the re­gion has been on the rise. It is nec­es­sary that the ac­tiv­i­ties of the man­age­ment of such schools are curbed.”

The taluka ad­min­is­tra­tion has told par­ents that the govern­ment will not be re­spon­si­ble for their aca­demic loss. Po­lice cases can be filed against those run­ning il­le­gal schools. The schools can­not func­tion with­out per­mis­sion from the lo­cal au­thor­i­ties.

“If the il­le­gal schools con- tinue to func­tion af­ter June 30, the or­ders are to send a re­port on them by the ed­u­ca­tion di­rec­torate to the state govern­ment. Puni­tive mea­sures are also to be taken against them,” said Sable.

“We will speak to the ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cer on the is­sue of il­le­gal schools. The sur­vey of these schools has been done by in­spec­tors,” he added.

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