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
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.