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CHD-Schools that got minority status sans NOC under UT’s scanner

February 25, 2018 06:09 AM

COURSTEYHT  FEB 25
Schools that got minority status sans NOC under UT’s scanner
OBJECTION After HC stays St Kabir’s minority status, edu dept to move court against other schools
CHANDIGARH: Three days after the Punjab and Haryana high court stayed the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutes (NCMEI) decision to grant Sikh minority institution status to St Kabir Public School, Sector 26, it has come to light that the UT education department is planning to file an appeal in the court against eight other schools that obtained the status without a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the department.

Confirming the development, director school education (DSE) Rubinderjit S Brar said: “We are looking into the matter in case of schools that did not obtain the NOC.”

Minority educational institution means a school, college or institution (other than a university) established or maintained by a person or a group of persons from among the minorities.

The city has 82 private schools,

22 of which are minority institutes. Eleven schools got the status from the national commission after 2010.

These are Mount Carmel School, Sector 47; Kids r Kids, Sector 46; New Public School, Sector 18; St Stephen’s School, Sector 45; AKSIPS-41 and 45; Vivek High School, Sector 38; St Kabir Public School, Sector 26; Saupin’s School, Sector 32; Guru Nanak Public School, Sector 36; and Sri Guru Harkrishan Senior Secondary Public School, Sector 40. However, only the last two had got an NOC from the UT administration.

‘CIRCUMVENTING RTE’

In fact, there has been a spurt in the number of schools seeking the minority status after the apex court ruled in 2012 that minority schools are not bound to reserve 25% seats in entry-level classes under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE), 2009.

The central legislation mandates it for recognised private schools to reserve 25% seats for students from economically weaker section (EWS).

The UT had argued in the St Kabir case that the timing of the application indicated that the only purpose for seeking the minority institution status was to circumvent the RTE Act. Also, due to its minority institution status, the “school has complete monopoly on the functioning without any fear of state supervision or accountability”, the UT had told court.

The education department had also moved court against Sikh minority institution status to Vivek High School, Sector 38. The matter is pending before court. The department is also in the process of filing an appeal against St Stephen’s. A source privy to the development said the appeal lacked some information, which will be provided soon.

Education secretary BL Sharma said: “We will find out how many schools got the minority institution status in the recent past and did not obtain the NOC from the education department.”

Sharma said the department will review if the schools are working for betterment of minorities or are just trying to circumvent the RTE Act.

“We will then file an appeal against such schools,” he said.

 

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