Ghaziabad: The Ghaziabad district administration has ordered immediate closure of 13 private schools that have been allegedly running without an affiliation to an education board and/or no-objection certificate (NoC) from the state government. One school has been given time to fulfill the norms under the Right to Education (RTE) Act.

To ensure students reading at these institutions do not suffer academically, they will be accommodated in other schools in the area.

One of the major schools in the list is a branch of the Presidium School at Raj Nagar Extension near the earlier NH-58.

The directives come after checks, conducted for the first time, by the district education department in keeping with the directions given by district magistrate (DM) Ritu Maheshwari.

“We have asked the schools to close with immediate effect. Some either don’t have an affiliation with an education board or do not have an NOCs; some are conducting classes without either of the two. The affected students would be enrolled to a nearby affiliated school. Their studies will not be affected,” Maheshwari said.

Among the schools being closed are Presidium School at Raj Nagar Extension, Anjana Public School at Shalimar Garden, Global India School at Pasonda, Global Public School at Ganeshpuri, AG English School at Siddharth Vihar, RK Academy at Siddharth Vihar, Jack and Jill at Vijay Nagar and Daisy Dales at Vijay Nagar, among others, officials said.

“Saraswati Bal Shiksha Vidyalaya has been given time to fulfil norms under the RTE Act,” said Vinay Kumar, basic education officer.

“DS Public School at Vijay Nagar has been asked to shut classes 6-8. They only have permission to conduct classed up to standard 5, but they were found operating classes up to class 8,” the officer said.

According to officials, the district has nearly 1,500 private schools and checks are being done to see if any schools are running without NOCs or affiliation.

Officials added that the schools under scanner have enrollment of more than 1,500 students who have been asked to be shifted to nearby affiliated schools. “The schools that have been asked to close down have been told to give the proportionate tuition fee to the other schools where the students will now be admitted,” Kumar added.

Commenting on the crackdown, CEO of Presidium School GS Matharoo said the school was only operating classes up to standard 7 and that it has not closed down.

“Affiliation from an education board is required only if a school conducts classes 8-12. Initially, when the branch started, we were running classes only for primary section. Now we are running classes up to standard 7,” he said.

He added that the school had applied for an NoC in February, 2017. “Once a district meeting is held, our NoC will get cleared. We have also given a representation to the district officials in this regard,” he said.

“With all conditions in place, the school will continue to operate. In case parents approach us, we will tell them exactly how things are and that they shouldn’t worry,” he added.

The officials said the decision was taken after two back-to-back checks conducted over past few days. Officials said they will continue to conduct more such checks.