Free Press Journal

Malwani schools protest against demolition order


Mother Teresa High School is one of seven schools in Malad where teachers have embarked on a hunger strikeMother Teresa High School is one of seven schools in Malad where teachers have embarked on a hunger strike

Seven schools built on govt land have been served HC notices

Mumbai : Even as the first unit tests of schools are imminent in just a week’s time, dozens of private schools in the Malwani area in Malad in the western suburbs are closed, with teachers and principals on an indefinite hunger strike against the demolition notices served to the schools. The High Court had sent such notices to seven schools that are constructed on government land.

Shikshak Bharti president and legislator Kapil Patil said, “There could be another 250 schools in the city that are constructed on either civic, state government or central government land, or on some government agency’s land. According to the new verdict, technically, all 250 schools are illegal.”

At present, seven schools in the Malwani area — Bharat Mata High School, Holy Angel High School, Ideal English High School, Mother Teresa High School, the National School, Holy Mother High School and Eliya Sarwad High School — have received demolition notices. A few dozen more schools in the same vicinity are likely to get notices soon.

While talking to FPJ, Holy Angel High School principal Simon said, “Schools have been functioning here for the past three and a half decades. Generations of students have passed out from the schools and holding offices. Before the construction, we had followed the due official process.”

BJP legislator Gopal Shetty, under whose jurisdiction the schools are, said, “An estimated 35,000 students are affected in this case. Legislator Aslam Shaikh and I had met students, parents and teachers today (Wednesday). Both of us have assured school authorities that we would stand with them in court during the next hearing on July 13. We had also requested education minister Vinod Tawde to help the schools when the matter goes to court.”

Patil said, “We are also working on legal angles to present a strong case in the court. In the first place, all schools are government-recognised. A few of them are aided and others are unaided, so technically, the schools are not illegal. The only issue is that the school buildings are illegal. The state government had already regularised all illegal shanties before 2000 and they are entitled for alternate accommodation. The same rule should be applied to these schools, too.”

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