After repeated incidents of rape within school premises, the Karnataka government has taken a strong stance and plans to shut down 2,000 schools running without valid licenses. It has passed its first order against the Orchid International School in Bengaluru.
Orchid has been asked to close down its kindergarten and high school classes and let the students move on to other schools. The decision was taken after a three-year-old student was allegedly raped by an office assistant within the school premises in October this year.
"Nursery, LKG about 500 students are there, 6th and 7th, there are about 29 students. Lots of parents have already transferred students to neighbouring schools," IBNLive quoted Commisisoner for Public Instruction Mohd Mohsin as saying.
After several incidents of crime against minors in Bangalore schools started making news including in Orchid and Vibgyor High School, the state government began a drive to identify schools running without proper authorisation. Names of around 2000 such institutions emerged after one month's effort and the government is planning to shut down all of them.
"We will shut schools that are running without valid recognition. I have asked parents to look at recognised school. I have also told recognized schools to admit children. Department officials estimate there are about 2,000 schools running illegally," Karnataka Education Minister Kimmane Rathnakar said.
However, this decision is likely to pose a major problem – that of education of lakhs of students studying in these schools.
"On an average, there are about 250-260 children per school so by that around 3.5 lakh children in the state are going to get affected by such a decision and that definitely is a huge impact if you look at the number itself," said head of National Independent Schools' Alliance, Rohan Joshi.