'Illegal' schools run by AP minister get govt notice

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) on Thursday issued notice to a school chain which was functioning without due government recognition.

The school chain is run by Andhra Pradesh Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Planning, P Narayana. The fraud came to light when parents of the children studying at Narayana e-Techno School approached the management demanding the recognition certificate.

It emerged that the school had permission only for Kannada-medium classes from 1 to 5, but it was illegally running English-medium classes up to 12th standard with CBSE syllabus.

The school has 15 branches in Bangalore alone. A notice has been issued to three branches at Koramangala, Honnasandra and HSR Layout. “I have issued notices to the branches under my jurisdiction. The school has other branches, too,” Block Education Officer Munireddy M told Deccan Herald.

The school has been directed to reply to the notice within seven days of receiving it. The department is also likely to file criminal charges against the school for flouting government norms.

The school’s website states that the management based in Hyderabad has institutions in Karnataka, Andhra pradesh, Telangana, Orissa and Tamil Nadu.

In Hyderabad alone, it has 35 schools; in Andhra Pradesh, 130 schools spread across 13 districts. Its next highest number of branches is in Bangalore. In Chennai, it owns three schools and one in Bhubaneswar. In all, it operates 185 branches in five states.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, a parent at the Koramangala branch of the school, where their twin children study, said: “We never had given much thought to this (recognition). The management representatives go from house to house requesting parents to enrol their wards in the school. We got the admissions done considering the brand. We didn’t expect this shock.”

Dubious recognition

Parents said they grew suspicious after reading news reports of several schools functioning without government recognition. Recently, three parents approached Narayana e-Techno School and asked them for recognition certificates. Though the school officials did not oblige initially, the parents persisted only to discover that the school functioned illegally.

Many parents gathered in front of the school on Thursday demanding an answer from the management.

Muralidhar, a parent, said, “There were several problems with the school. It had no water supply. Also, when I checked my children’s notebooks, I found that they were being taught English and Hindi grammar incorrectly. No one even bothered about our complaints.”

Parents also said that six principals were changed in a span of 18 months. They said they feel cheated now as they had paid an exorbitant Rs 45,000 as tuition fee.

“This too depended on how you bargain with the management. Each parent pays a different set of fees,” a parent said.

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