India has ordered all schools not formally registered with the local authorities to cease “all academic activity” before the next academic year to prevent authoritative action being taken.
A 2012 survey by the Delhi Municipal corporations identified as many as 1,593 unrecognised schools in operation in the national capital at the time, with an estimated over 160,000 students enrolled.
According to The Indian Express, that figure is now thought to be much higher.
In the order released Feb 7, the Directorate of Education (DoE) reportedly said:
“It has come to our notice that several unrecognised private schools are functioning without obtaining the mandatory certificate of recognition from appropriate authority, which is in violation of the Right to Education Act.”
“All the societies/trusts/ agencies/organisations or individuals running unrecognised schools are directed to discontinue the educational activities from the academic session 2018-19, failing which action will be initiated against them,” the order adds.
The Act states: “No school, other than a school established, owned or controlled by the appropriate government or the local authority, shall, after the commencement of this Act, be established or function, without obtaining a certificate of recognition from such authority, by making an application in such form and manner, as may be prescribed.”
Heaps of praise for the NGO Social Jurist for Delhi High Court's direction for immediate closure of unrecognised schools in unsafe premises.
— Peeyush Gautam (@peeyush2768) June 7, 2015
But, the National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA) said that they will take steps and not let the government shut these schools down.
“We will take all measures and not allow government to shut down schools. We will call for a mahabandh [yogic practice] at Ram Lila Maidan on April 7 against this,” NISA president Kulbhushan Sharma told The Indian Express.