HBSE Board: Over 600 Haryana private schools face closure; students can’t write exams

Students of these Haryana Board schools have been unable to register for the HBSE 10th, 12th board exams. The schools have sought time to meet norms.


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Students from 600 Haryana Board schools will be unable to register for hbse board exam (Representational Image: Careers360)Students from 600 Haryana Board schools will be unable to register for hbse board exam (Representational Image: Careers360)

Atul Krishna | January 11, 2024 | 04:56 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Private schools have written to the Haryana education minister requesting more time to meet required norms as several schools affiliated with the Haryana Board of School Education (HBSE) stare at closure with their students unable to register for the upcoming Haryana Board Class 10th and Class 12th board exams. The HBSE date sheet 2024 is out and exams start from February 27.

According to estimates given by private school associations, more than 600 schools might not be able to register their students for the board exams and might have to stop admissions if they are unable to meet the norms prescribed in the Haryana School Education Rules, 2003 by March 2024.

Although the government has assured that the affected students will be registered in government schools to allow for them to appear for the exams, schools have asked for relaxation in guidelines to prevent confusion and panic among students.

Also read Parity between CBSE, state 10th, 12th board exams by 2026: NCERT’s PARAKH

School associations such as the Federation of Private Schools Welfare Association met education minister Kanwar Pal on Wednesday requesting him to relax the March 2023 deadline for meeting norms.

The Haryana School Education Rules, 2003 include building norms such as having the same number of classrooms as the number of sections in the school, a minimum of 10 square feet area per classroom, toilets, ramp facilities, computers with internet connectivity, among others. It also includes land norms specifying the amount of land the private school should have, including playgrounds.

School education norms

Schools that existed before the new rules were introduced were given temporary affiliations to eventually meet the norms.

In response to pleas from private schools, the government had relaxed the norms on land required in March 2023. This was done on the condition that the schools pay an assurance fee for meeting the rest of the building norms.

“The government has become stricter with these norms over the years, saying that they won’t give more extensions for the temporary affiliation. Schools have been taking extensions and assuring that they will stick to norms but then land norms are not easy to follow. How will we increase the land area? Then, when we met with the chief minister some six months ago and proposed a one-step upgrade for affiliations without the land norms. That is when the assurance bonds came in,” said Kulbushan Sharma, president of the Federation of Private Schools Welfare Association.

With this relaxation in the norms, schools were allowed to get permanent affiliation for one more level. For instance, schools up to Class 5 can be given permanent affiliation till Class 8 on the same patch of land, provided the rest of the building norms are followed.

The assurance fee is Rs 1 lakh for schools up to Class 5, Rs 1.5 lakh for those up to Class 8, and Rs 2 lakh for those up to Classes 10 or 12. As per an order issue in March 2023, the schools were given a two-year deadline.

However, a follow-up order in October 2023, curtailed this deadline to March 2024.

BSEH 2024: Schools seek extension

Private schools have now requested education minister Kanwar Pal to revert to the initial deadline of two years from March 2023.

“As per the evolving guidelines, dated March 28, 2023 initially allowed a two-year timeframe for compliance, the subsequent dated October 20, 2023 has curtailed this period, specifying a deadline of March 31, 2024. In consideration of the challenges faced by schools and to safeguard the educational future of students, we respectfully urge you to reconsider and reinstate the original two-year timeframe,” the Federation of Private Schools Welfare Association wrote to the minister.

They also requested that schools which are unable to pay the assurance fees be given a one-year extension. After that, they can be barred from taking admissions without paying the assurance fees or meeting norms instead of being closed and having their students moved to government schools.

“We are saying that don’t give extra stress to students prior to exams. Let the students appear for exams this year and then stop the school from taking admissions next year. Students shouldn’t suffer for this. The issue is between the private schools and the government,” said Sharma.

The matter has now been escalated to chief minister Manohar Lal Khatter who will take a decision on extending the deadline.

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