Private Schools in Kashmir face an uphill task

Srinagar: Private schools operating in Kashmir are in for tough days ahead as the School Education Department has decided to tightened its noose as far as their functioning goes.

In a new development, the authorities have decided to grant renewal of registration for private schools on the basis of terms prescribed in SRO 123.

The Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) has issued a circular regarding the issue wherein the authorities have also raised concern over salary of teachers working in these private educational institutions.

“Seek renewal of al NOCs after their expiry prescribed in terms of SRO 123…,” reads a new circular issued by the directorate of school education Kashmir.

 Pertinently, as per SRO-123, the private schools should be located in noise free zones with a classroom space of around 1-2 square meters per student.

“The schools should have separate multiple toilets for boys and girls, multipurpose laboratory in an area of 75 square meter and an extra classroom in case more than fifty students are in one class,” directs the SRO 123.

Notably, the rules under SRO also lay emphasis on clean drinking water facility besides a playroom of 150 square meters.

“In middle and primary schools, the Principal’s room should comprises minimum area of 150 square meters with at least one more staff room of 100 square meters,” the SRO reads.

 Also, for high schools, existence of assembly and examination hall of appropriate specification is also important while as for higher secondary schools, the SRO envisages the separate science laboratories for all subjects.

 As per the order, every school authorities should have set up the parents association for decision making processes.

Interestingly, the DSEK in its fresh circular has also instructed the private schools to pay ‘reasonable’ salary to the teachers and other staff as per the minimum wages Act and “payment thereof shall be made through cheques.”

 “The salary structure so allowed shall be duly notified, along with the other service conditions including inter alia matters of CP fund, leave of different kinds and pension, gratuity as the case may be,” the circular reads.

 The department has asked the private schools to arrange regular in-service training of teachers including orientation and refresher courses on the basis of actual need from time to time.

“Institute an appropriate mechanism to ensure that services of teachers or other staff is not dispensed with at will without due regard to the principles of equity and fair-pay. Disciplinary action or proceedings if and when warranted, shall be conducted consistent with due process of law and also notified to CEO and ZEO concerned,” the circular reads.

Also, the authorities have asked the private schools to notify in leading news papers the details of the fee structure before the commencement of each academic session. Besides, they have barred the institutions to enhance fee without the approval of competent authorities.

“Deposit with respective office due share subscription on account for games, Red Cross fund in terms of the orders/ instructions in force,” the circular reads.

The department has also asked the private schools to furnish correct and complete information as per format provided by Chief Education Officer (CEO) or Zonal Education Officer (ZEO) concerned for updation of district Information System of Education of Education (DISE) and Education Management Information System (EIMS) against the proper official receipt.

 The private schools have been warned of strict action in case of any failure on their part in adhering to the norms laid down under rules.

“Any deviation or default in adherence to the norm rules laid down and the orders instructions issued from time to time shall render the school liable for strict action which may include withdrawal of recognition, besides other penal action under law,” the circular reads.



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