“Even while the schools had to get NOC in the past, there was a vacuum and the process was never streamlined. That is why it was decided to bring in a set of rules to specify the process for it,” said Vishal R, commissioner, department of public instruction.
The rules published on May 11 say Kannada shall be taught as second or third language as per provisions of the Kannada Language learning Act, 2015. Earlier, the rulebook had mentioned that Kannada had to be taught as first or second language. A majority of CBSE/ICSE schools in the city have been teaching Kannada as one of the languages.
“That is a welcome change to recognise the aspirations of parents to teach children in English medium for their upward mobility, even while the local language is being taught in schools,” opined Nooraine Fazal, Inventure Academy.
Stakeholders say major hike in fee unfair
M Srinivasan, president of Management of Independent CBSE Schools Association, pointed out that there has been a major hike in fee for the process of obtaining NOC. “From Rs 50,000, it has been increased to Rs 2 lakh. It is unfair that the government hikes its charges, while it does not allow schools to increase fees,” he said.
“The clauses say that with NOC, the schools come under Karnataka Education Act, which is still being challenged in the high court,” he added.
Most of the earlier rules continue to exist in the undertakings to be submitted by the schools. The District Education Regulating Authority will have jurisdiction over schools affiliated to various boards. Fees collected by educational institutions shall be subject to rules made by the state. No capitation fee or voluntary donations should be charged.
“In case a student leaves the school for such compulsion as transfer of parents or for health reason or in case of death of the student before completion of the session, pro-rata return of quarterly/term/annual fees should be made,” the rules say. The school should consult parent representatives before revising the fees and the revision should not be made mid-session.
No classes shall be started by the institution, prior to affiliation with boards. Instead, the school can start classes under state board once it receives NOC and recognition under KEA till it gets affiliation from the board. In such cases, it has to comply with the medium-of-instruction policy of the state government – mother tongue or Kannada should be medium of instruction from classes 1 to 5.