COIMBATORE: As many as 390 preschools in the state operate without obtaining a license from the Department of School Education, according to data from the Education Management Information System (EMIS) portal. Chengalpattu district tops the list with 35 unaccredited schools. Karur and Tiruchy have no unaccredited schools. (See map)
According to sources, the school education department has recently asked directors of education (CEOs) to submit a list of preschools that operate without a license. “After obtaining details, the list of unapproved schools was hosted on the EMIS portal by district. The final count showed that there were 390 unapproved schools statewide.”
An education official in Coimbatore said: “Pre-schools must obtain a license from PDGs by providing certificates of building stability, fire safety, sanitation, etc. Only after that can the students can be admitted. Few parents are aware of these things and some schools are exploiting the situation. Students are at risk in unaccredited schools.”
The official said 10 unapproved schools were detected in Coimbatore by education officers in the bloc during inspections. “Senior officials from the school education department will hold a meeting with the CEOs in Chennai on Tuesday. We hope they will instruct us to take action against unaccredited schools,” she added.
Mayadevi Shankar, president of All Private School Welfare, said: “For years we have demanded the closure of unlicensed schools. But officials declined to release the names of the unaccredited schools.
She alleged that although CEOs have the power to close schools after getting permission from the District Collector, they fail to act.
A senior official from the directorate of primary education told TNIE, “We cannot close these schools immediately because the students would be affected. The school year ends in a month. We are taking action to close these schools with the district collector. Support.”