New Delhi: India’s plans to regulate international schools operating in the country has hit a roadblock with the Prime Minister’s Office, or PMO, asking the ministry of human resource development, or HRD, to consult the Planning Commission before asking the cabinet to consider its proposal.
The cabinet would have discussed in its Friday meeting the HRD ministry’s proposal that wants to issue regulatory guidelines for such schools to seek government’s permission before asking for affiliation from international boards. It was withdrawn from the agenda?following?the?PMO?directive.
The HRD ministry is eager to regulate international schools because their number has rapidly grown in the past decade—from 15 in 1998 to about 180 in 2006. The number of schools affiliated to International Baccalaureate Organisation has grown from two in 1998 to 33 in 2006. There were 148 schools affiliated to Cambridge International Examination in 2006. Currently, there are no government guidelines for these schools.
With an increasing number of Indian parents opting to admit their children in these schools, the ministry wants their curriculum brought in line with the spirit of Indian culture, said an official close to the development. Its proposed guidelines make it mandatory to get the curriculum of these schools vetted by a standing committee in the ministry. This committee would also decide on the foreign boards from which India-based schools can seek affiliation, the guidelines said.
The guidelines also gives powers to state and union territory governments to issue no-objection certificates to schools seeking foreign affiliation from a list of boards approved by the ministry. For existing schools, the ministry wants to give a year’s time to comply, or face closure.