New Delhi, May 8: The Delhi High Court was informed by the city government's education department that it has surveyed unauthorised and unrecognised elementary-level schools in the national capital and granted provisional recognition certificates to 800 such institutions.
A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw was also informed by the city government that 300 applications were pending before it for consideration.
In 2013, a circular was issued asking all unrecognised elementary-level schools to get recognised by the Delhi government, it said.
"The department in pursuance of the court's directions conducted surveys of the unrecognised schools of Delhi and till date (has) given provisional recognition to almost 800 schools with conditions of recognitions as laid down under the Delhi School Education Act and Rules 1973 and other relevant provisions," said an affidavit submitted by the Delhi government.
The government said it has started asking pre-primary schools, play schools, creches to get recognised by it.
It also added that apart from the schools, situated on land given by the government at concessional rates, the department has also decided to monitor schools, play schools and creches situated on private land, to have parity in matters dealing with these institutions.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by NGO Social Jurist, which said that despite the court's 2008 order that no unrecognised school should be allowed to run in Delhi, the directorate of education has done nothing to ensure this, resulting in "continuous existence and mushrooming of hundreds of unauthorised, unsafe and unrecognised play schools and pre-primary schools in Delhi".
Advocates Ashok Agarwal and Khagesh Jha, appearing for the NGO, told the court that the directorate in 2013 had invited applications for recognition of schools running classes up to the elementary level but said that as pre-primary schools were not covered under the Right to Education Act, these schools can continue to function.
Allowing pre-primary and nursery schools to continue to run without obtaining recognition was "illegal", it added. In 2008, the high court asked the government to frame a scheme for regularising and regulating these unregistered institutions. After hearing the arguments, the bench reserved the order.