mid-day editorial: If there's a rule, schools must abide by it
Approximately 300 students of a Ghatkopar school are staring at an uncertain future. Their alma mater, affiliated to the IGCSE Board, doesn't have the mandatory Unified District Information System For Education (UDISE) number or a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the government to function.
The UDISE, issued by the state department of education, is a database of information on all schools in India. A code is generated for every registered school to allow it to function and, in 2012, it was made mandatory for all schools to register with it. Parents of this Ghatkopar school, however, realised the school does not have a number only after they complained against a proposal of fee hike.
It is shameful that an educational institution, which nurtures young minds, is not toeing the line itself. Schools and colleges across the country have to see that they are bonafide, no matter which board or system they follow. They should have all clearances in place. While red-tapism is a reality, it's important that educational institutions keep abreast of requirements made mandatory by the education department.
Parents should not have to suffer the shock of the knowledge that their children passed out from a school that is not even legally registered as an educational entity.
Students are already under tremendous stress due to their studies, let's not add to their woes and worries. While parents must research well before admitting their children to some institute, it can't be expected of them to file an RTI to decipher if the school is abiding by all government mandates.
Institutes that charge high fees and keep hiking them year after year, need to be upfront and honest with parents about their own validity on paper. If there are new additions to the book of guidelines, those need to be respected and executed too.