Since Tuesday, BBMP -Bengaluru’s civic body- has issued notices to several pre-schools in ‘residential areas’ of the city, asking them to relocate to commercial areas.
The said notice reads:
“Setting up your establishment is illegal. If you do not shut down operations and vacate the premiseswithin three days, legal action will be taken."
Speaking to The News Minute, a BBMP official who did not wish to be named says: “We have issued notices to over 4000 schools in the city due to multiple complaints from residents of how these have now become a nuisance. Running a school out of one’s home is also illegal.”
Refuting the same, Pruthvi Banwasi, Secretary of the Karnataka Council of Preschools retorts: "Pre-schools are independent bodies. We are now in the process of preparing a petition to be submitted to the Karnataka Education Department and other departments concerned, asking that such pre-schools be treated as a civic amenity, as we work with kids under the age of six.
It was hardly three months ago that we procured the registration-letters for our pre-schools, after going through a series of regulations which include ones on premises, safety, location and other aspects. This BBMP circular from its Health Department has indeed come as an unpleasant surprise.”
According to Banwasi, going by technicalities, pre-schools do not come under the purview of the Education Department. The three-day time limit to vacate the premises has also only served to further deepen their perplexity.
An owner of a pre-school located in South Bengaluru confirmed that she had indeed received such a notice. Speaking on conditions of anonymity, she asserts that pre-schools need to be in residential areas for various reasons:
“One of the major challenges faced by pre-schools is to ensure a secure environment for kids. With pre-schools moving to commercial areas, we will then have to tackle traffic, safety and other aspects.
A school like ours can function only in residential areas. Although the BBMP is ok with banks and barber shops operating from here, why are we the only ones who need to close ‘shop’ in three days’ time?”
She added, "Parents prefer to walk young children less than six years to school. Pre-schools make learning an enjoyable experience and moving them to commercials areas will involve commuting through traffic. Moreover, renting a commercial space will also be lead to increase in fees."