The Government of Karnataka took a stern decision and has a three-month deadline for all the schools across the state to register with the education department. If any Pre-primary school fails to meet the terms, then they will be declared as ‘illegal’. When the deadline is over, the Government will start finding the illegal pre-schools in the state.
After the legislative assembly session on Friday, the primary and secondary education minister Tanveer Sait said to the media that the registration process has been started to make it more efficient and control the pre-school sector that operates under various names such as pre-nursery, play-centers, playschools, child-centers, kindergarten, play homes and montessories. The circular on this same has been issued on February 27. The primary and secondary education minister Tanveer added, “Several government orders have been passed by the education department between 1996 and 2006 with regard to registration of educational institutions. But the pre-primary school segment had never been touched upon. In fact, the last circular issued in 2006 had made registration of pre-primary schools optional. However, a lot of changes have happened in the pre-school segment in the last ten years and it is high time some regulatory mechanism was put in place.
In recent times, the incidents of sexual assaults on kids in Bengaluru increased and that’s why the state government took the strict decision to increase transparency between the government and the pre-schools. At present, the Playschools are allowed to be run by the organizations and not by any individuals. While pointing out to alleged sexual assault on a 3-year-old girl at a pre-school recently in Bengaluru’s Bellandpur area, the minister Sait said, “But till something goes wrong, nobody knows who owns the pre-school and or what the condition of the pre-school was. There is a need to standardize the system. The only way to make the pre-schools a safe place is by fixing responsibility on those who run the same.”
The minister talked about how the pre-schools segment has been ignored and said that there have been many orders passed to the education department between 1996 and 2006 regarding the registration of educational institutions, but the pre-primary school segment has always been missed by the government. However, the government of the state has no idea about the number of pre-schools, but the sources of the education departments believe that the numbers are in the thousands. An educational department officer revealed, “This is a multi-crore business. Preschools are now being run by housewives with no formal training in handling kids. In fact, pressure is being mounted on the government to relax the rule and allow individuals also to start pre-schools as it is turning out to be financially lucrative. In this backdrop, checks and balances have to be imposed on the pre-school segment to save parents and their kids from getting fleeced.”
Besides setting the deadline for registration, the government of Karnataka is also considering weaving in Protection of Child Rights into the Karnataka Education Act through an amendment to restrict in the pre-schools. The state government is leaving no stone to tackle the issue firmly and to stop all kinds of crimes against the kids. The various Pre-primary schools can register on this website: http://schooleducation.kar.nic.in which is operated by the state government. The schools have to submit the full name of their institution, complete address, a total number of sections, important details of the organization that runs the school, details of the building and the number of rooms and total staff. The education department has made it clear that the owners of the Pre-primary schools must not provide any other extra information or document other than what has been asked on the website. The minister said that the state government will start taking strict actions on the illegal pre-schools once the three-month deadline is over.