HC orders notification of norms for play schools by Dec 15

Chennai: The Madras High Court today upheld Tamil Nadu government’s draft regulations for play schools with certain modifications such as extending the area covered by them upto 3km radius and directed that it be notified by December 15.

The state government had submitted the draft regulations in response to a PIL which highlighted the highly unregulated environment under which these pre-KG or play schools functioned.

A bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice T S Sivagnanam in their order made changes to some of the proposed rules such as the schools should admit students residing within a radius of one km.

The judges declined to interfere with the norm that such schools should be located only on ground floors of buildings.

Referring to the draft code’s clause that play schools’ jurisdiction should be one km, they said it was too short a distance. Making it clear that children should not be made to travel for long distances, they increased the radius to 3 km.

Referring to another stipulation that the schools’ working hours should not be more than three hours per day, the judges said the idea was that a child should not be in play school for more than three hours.

The bench said the clause could be suitably modified to take care of a situation when a school may run for more than three hours for different sets of students.

Altering the norm that management and administration of such play school should vest with a trust or a society, the court said such stringent conditions were not necessary as often such play schools are operated by women from their houses or properties.

The schools could be run by such entities as individuals, companies, partnerships and proprietorships.