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Over 10,000 unrecognised schools flourishing in State

Ravi Reddy

Lack of proper mechanism to check their functioning

HYDERABAD: In the absence of a proper mechanism in the School Education Department to check the functioning of all educational institutions, over 10,000 unrecognised schools with student strength of five lakhs are flourishing in the State.

The alarming rise in the number of unrecognised schools has prompted the Government to launch a drive to make these institutions obtain recognition from the Education Department from this academic year or face action.

Figures for 2004-05 show that there are 92,768 recognised primary, upper primary, high and higher secondary schools with enrolment of 1.34 crore students.

While the School Education Department keeps a close watch on the recognised institutions, it has failed to check the growth of unrecognised in various parts of the State on the ground that they are illegal.

Threats fail

A senior official said that though the Andhra Pradesh Education Act lists punitive action against the erring institutions, which lack infrastructure and basic facilities, the negligence in conducting routine inspection has allowed the schools to go scot-free.

The threat of heavy penalties and jail term has not bothered these managements.

The school managements cite the stringent rules as the stumbling block in seeking recognition from the Government. Despite stern warnings, these schools have failed to adhere to the rules.

The rules stipulate all educational institutions to provide three acres of land for buildings and playgrounds before they are recognised.

Rules to be modified

The Director of School Education, K. Ramakrishna Rao told The Hindu that the Government had decided to start the process of recognising all such schools by enforcing the rules. The Government would initiate a dialogue with the managements to find a solution to their problems.

The unrealistic conditions could be modified to allow these schools to seek recognition.

Safety and security of the school children would be given top priority, he added.

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