Bengaluru, Mar 18: The Education Department has set a deadline of three months for preschools and playschools across Karnataka to register with it, failing which they will be deemed illegal and face action, said Primary and Secondary Education Minister Tanveer Sait.
Pre-primary schools that fail to comply are liable to be declared "illegal". Once the deadline is over, the government will commence a combing operation to weed out illegal pre-schools.
Tanveer Sait said that the registration process has been initiated to streamline and regulate the pre-primary school sector that operates under various names such as play schools, prenursery, Montessori, playcentres, kindergarten, playhomes and child-centres. A circular to this effect was issued on February 27.
“Several 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 n the last 10 years and it is high time some regulatory mechanism was put in place," Sait said on the sidelines of the legislative council session here.
Currently, play schools are allowed to be run by organisations and not by individuals. "But until something goes wrong, nobody knows who owns the pre-school or what shape it was in. There is a need to standardize the system," Sait said, referring especially to the alleged sexual assault on a three-year-old girl at a play school in Bengaluru's Bellandur area recently.
"The only way to make the pre-schools a safe place is by fixing responsibility on those who run the same," Sait added.
The government is also contemplating weaving in Protection of Child Rights into the Karnataka Education Act through an amendment to rein in pre-schools.