Gangtok, Dec 9 (IPR)
A meeting regarding the privately operated schools in Sikkim was held today at the Education Department. This was chaired by Additional Chief Secretary GP Upadhyaya, IAS, and was attended by Directors and other top-level officers of the Department of Education.
It may be mentioned here that the CM on the occasion of Children’s Day on November 14, 2019, announced that the private schools which do not fulfill the NCTE norms, or if they do not have B Ed and D El Ed trained teachers, no proper facilities as per the Right to Education Act and curriculum as per the National Curriculum Framework and NCERT guidelines, will be closed down.
The meeting of the Education Department took note that many of the private schools are running without registration, recognition or renewed registration with the Department, as required under the norms of National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE), Right to Education Act (RTE Act) of 2009, Sikkim Education Act, 2005 and Sikkim Education Rules, 2008.
Then Department has therefore decided to give notice to all such Private institutes/schools in Sikkim to get themselves registered, recognized or renew registration with the Registration Cell of Education Department within March 31, 2020, failure to which may invite penal action including closure and fine as per the legal provisions of the RTE Act, 2009.
It is also noted that there are many registered private schools that have not obtained recognition from the Education Department, as stipulated under the RTE Act, 2009 and do not meet the requirements, such as recruitment of only professionally trained teachers having B.Ed, D.El.Ed etc. with STET. These schools are also being given time till March 31, 2020, to meet these requirements of Acts and Rules in operation. Any un-recognized private institution/school found to be running thereafter shall be liable for stringent action which may include the closure of the institution/school as per Section 18 of the RTE Act, 2009.
Section 18 of the RTE Act, 2009 stipulates that ‘No school to be established without obtaining certificate of recognition.’
Further, the meeting also discussed the announcement of the HCM regarding ICDS operating from rented house to be shifted to schools for a proper transition to school. In this matter, it is mentioned that the Department has already been working on this line and soon it will further do a mapping of schools and the ICDS centers operating from private houses for colocation with the schools. This will be done in convergence with the Department of Social Justice and Welfare.
The Department is also on the way of notifying the Directorate of Primary Education (created in 2013) to be given the nomenclature as Directorate of Elementary Education in order to meet and conform to the requirements and carry out the provisions of the RTE Act, 2009.
The meeting also decided to organise an educational conclave for the recognised private schools and their teachers to orient them about examination and assessment system, text-books, school bag policy, school safety plan, syllabus & curriculum as per the National Curriculum Framework 2005, and especially on the provisions of the Right to Education Act, 2009 and the concept of Education as Fundamental Right.