No school above rules and regulations, will take strict action: CEO
Srinagar: In a blatant violation of norms, the Foundation World School in Budgam, one of the prominent schools of Kashmir valley, has been functioning without any registration or permission from the School Education department of J&K to operate middle and secondary grade classes.
Along with this, the registration for operating primary level classes up to 5th standard has been obtained only in the year 2019, four years after these classes started at the school in 2015.
The school teaches an international curriculum that is affiliated with Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE). The school currently has two branches including the one at Humhama and another at Mamath, both in Budgam district of central Kashmir.
As per the information obtained by Kashmir Reader, the provisional registration for up to primary level was granted to the school on 14-08-2019, after which the school management failed to apply for the upgradation of its registration for up to middle and secondary level from the School Education Department of J&K.
Although the school has acquired a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the School Education department to run under the curriculum of CAIE, but it too came between 2019 and 2020 while the school had been already following the curriculum since its functioning in the year 2015.
“The school has been registered in the year 2019 with the School Education department and till then, the school management hadn’t applied for the registration of the school up to primary standard. Even now, the school is yet to get permanent registration and only runs on the provisional registration which is valid for a period of five years,” an official told Kashmir Reader.
However, without any registration as well as permission, the said school has enrolled hundreds of students in its middle and secondary standard classes over the past three years comprising 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th classes, against the rules and regulations framed by the School Education department.
Parents say they were never informed by the school management about the issue of registration and now with what has unfolded, it has left them concerned and worried for the future of their wards.
“I’m shocked. It is really a matter of concern for all of us. I’ve withdrawn my child this year from the institution after he passed the 8th standard. Now I’m going to admit him in some different institution. The school authorities provided me with a discharge certificate along with some other documents but couldn’t provide me with any marks sheet or other document signed by the concerned Zonal Education Officer (ZEO). Upon which, I objected and was told that if I faced any problem at the time in taking admission in any institution, the institution should contact the school management and they will be sorting out the issues with them,” Shabir Ahmad Bhat, a resident of Bagh-e-Mehtab area of Srinagar, told Kashmir Reader.
Another parent while expressing his shock said that the school management was playing with the future of thousands of students. He questioned the concerned authorities saying, “How was such an influential school allowed to operate during all these years?’’
Responding to the issue, Mubashir Ahmad Wafai, the Vice-Chairman of Foundation World School, told Kashmir Reader that they were not aware about registering the school with the School Education Department, as they’d already got the No Objection Certificate from the education department.
“Earlier we had registered our school with the school education department till 5th standard. But after obtaining our affiliation with the Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE), we thought it was enough to run the school,” he told Kashmir Reader. He failed to answer several questions from this reporter about the registration and other issues pertaining to the school.
Syed Amin, Chief Education Officer Budgam, told Kashmir Reader that they’d taken notice of the issue and no school shall be allowed to function without proper registration, even if the school is affiliated with some different board.
“The school management was asked to report to our office today. We told them that they can’t run their institution for middle and secondary level without any registration and if they fail to obtain it on a speedy basis, we’ll initiate strict action against them. No school is above rules and regulations, notwithstanding its standard and infrastructure. It will have to follow proper norms,” Syed Amid told Kashmir Reader.
Mohammad Younis Malik, Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK), after being informed about the issue by this reporter said that he’ll check all the information about the functioning of the school and every school must follow rules and regulations. However, later, the calls to his number went unanswered.