Lokayukta condemns closure of pvt schools

Based on newspaper reports, Lokayukta Justice P Vishwanath Shetty has sought to know the rights of the students and the responsibility of the authorities under such circumstances. (DH File Photo)

Taking suo-motu cognizance, the Lokayukta issued a notice to the Primary and Secondary Education Department over the closure of a private school that left several students stranded. 

Seventeen of the students have been admitted under the Right to Education (RTE) Act. Based on newspaper reports, Lokayukta Justice P Vishwanath Shetty has sought to know the rights of the students and the responsibility of the authorities under such circumstances.

According to the Lokayukta order, Gurudarshan Public School in Gottigere, Bannerghatta Road, was shut down without prior notice on August 20. As a result, 17 poor students who secured admission under the Right to Education (RTE) have nowhere to go. The Lokayukta has raised the questions as to the rights of the students admitted under RTE when a pre-metric private education institution is shut down. The order of the Lokayukta asked the officials the obligations of the authorities to protect the rights of the students, more particularly the students admitted under RTE.

“Whether it is permissible for an educational institution to close without there being a valid and genuine ground, especially without giving reasonable time and prior notice to the students who are studying in such educational institutions. It is also to be considered whether the authorities have framed any regulation while granting permissions to such educational institutions to protect the interest of the students in general and more particularly the students admitted under RTE,’’ Justice Shetty stated in the order. The Lokayukta order stated that imparting education is part of public duty and hence no institution can be closed without prior notice or without alternative arrangement.

“The educational institutions are discharging public duties while imparting education to the students which is the duty of the state. Therefore, any institution which imparts education, in my view, discharges the public duty.

“Whether such an educational institution should be made accountable to the students for disrupting their continuous study and to ascertain the obligations on the part of the authorities of the state to make immediate alternative arrangement for their continued study,’’ Justice Shetty stated. The Lokayukta has directed the officials of the Primary and Secondary Education Department and Department of Public Instructions to submit a status report by September 7.

“Since the matter pertains to the education of the young children, I have given a short time to the authorities to respond to the grievance,” Justice Shetty said. 

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Lokayukta condemns closure of pvt schools

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