Education Officers to be Liable For Illegal Schools: Maharashtra Govt

Following the government’s action towards curbing the operation of 661 existing illegal schools in the state, the Maharashtra government issued a circular on December 18 stating that if any illegal school is found operating anywhere in Maharashtra without proper approvals, the concerned education officer will be held accountable and disciplinary action will be taken against them.

This directive was issued by the state education department in an effort to limit the number of unauthorized schools and prevent the establishment of new ones. The move comes in response to the government’s observation that numerous schools operate without proper permission, causing hardships for enrolled students, Hindustan Times reported.

“The directive has been issued to prevent the opening of new illegal schools in the state as the government has found that several schools are operating without having proper permissions and students enrolled in these schools have to suffer a lot,” a senior official from the education department said.

Previously, Maharashtra Education Minister Deepak Kesarkar stated in March that the state has around 800 illegal schools. He warned that punitive action, including closure, would be initiated against the schools if they failed to submit the necessary documents. During this period, nearly 1,500 students were shifted to schools with valid permissions after counselling sessions for parents who were unaware of the approval status of their children’s schools where they were enrolled, officials told the media outlet.

In addition to that, the deputy director of education instructed officials in May to submit a fresh report on illegal schools in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). The report revealed that the five Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) districts had 517 primary schools and 97 secondary schools that lacked the necessary approvals.

The issue was raised during the question-and-answer hour in the winter session of the state assembly, Times Of India reported. To which, Kesarkar replied, “It was brought to our notice that 661 illegal schools were run in the state by private institutes, including 186 in Mumbai, running in the jurisdiction of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). Hence, the department has initiated action to shut down these schools, and a fine has been imposed on them. So far, 78 schools have been completely shut down, and 6,308 students have been moved to other schools. In June, show cause notices have been issued to the schools and officials concerned from the education department.”

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