Parents and their school-going children are stuck in a rut as the Punjab and Haryana education departments have planned to close down approximately 1,900 unauthoried schools in the states.
In a survey conducted by the Haryana education department, around 1,372 schools were being run without recognition from the department.
Recognition from the education department is compulsory to run a private school, but the management of these schools had not even applied for recognition, The Times of India (TOI) reported.
State principal secretary (education) Surina Rajan told TOI that the survey was conducted in relation with a Public-Interest litigation (PIL) that is pending in Punjab and Haryana high court.
Last year, a division bench headed by Justices S K Mittal and T P S Mann directed private schools to meet the terms with the provisions of Right to Education (RTE) Act.
The bench also said that the schools must comply with Section 18 of the RTE Act. Under this section, it is compulsory for a school to obtain a certificate of recognition from the state education department.
The education department can also withdraw the recognition if the school fails to comply with the set norms.
The education department has now decided to issue show-cause notices to the schools before closing it down.
A senior officer told TOI that after getting approval from the government they would start issuing notices to these schools. According to the report, students of these unauthorised schools can sit for exams by submitting particular forms to recognized schools.
If any school continues to run without permission after losing recognition, then that institution will be liable to a fine of ₹1 lakh, and in case of continuing contravention per day a fine of ₹10,000.
In Punjab, around 500 schools will be closed down as required conditions were not fullfilled. The government in 2010 had asked all institutions to apply for recognition by 1 April, 2013. According to Punjab education minister Sikandar Singh Maluka, the government will have to shut down the schools because they did not apply for recognition.
More than 40,000 students in Punjab and Haryana have to seek admission elsewhere after the closure of these unauthorised schools.
"If needed, we would try to accommodate them in government schools," Punjab education minister Sikandar Singh Maluka said.