Bengaluru: The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has decided to create an Estate Officers post exclusively to oversee the maintenance of school buildings, management of building records and registration of government schools that have no records.
DPI sources told Deccan Chronicle that the decision was taken at a meeting attended by Secondary and Primary Education Minister S. Suresh Kumar, Primary and Secondary Education principal secretary and commissioner of Public Instruction recently.
Officials said that lands donated by philanthropists for building schools and playgrounds across the state are being encroached because of poor maintenance of records and negligence of the department.
Of the 45,000 government-run schools in the state, some have registered their properties and kept their land records in order, but thousands of others have not and do not have any records to claim ownership of the land.
In Bengaluru and surroundings alone, 600 of 1,655 schools do not have any land records and land sharks are eyeing these properties as land prices have gone through the roof.
The department recently issued a circular to DDPIs of all 34 educational districts to register their school properties at local sub-registrar’s offices.
All these years, the department maintained school buildings and other management records with the help of local BEOs, managers in BEO offices and headmasters of schools. As BEOs and teachers are already burdened with mid-day meals, distribution of uniforms, textbooks, scholarships, census, election and other duties, the department has decided not to involve them for land registration duties and has created the post.
The estate officer will be responsible for the management of land and maintaining the property.
He will also monitor tenancy agreements as many schools run on rent, check for repairs and monitor engineering works after coordinating with other government departments.
The officer will also be responsible for the creation, management and disposal of records related to all aspects of school administration.
These records include school student files, student reports, confidential student files, personal staff files, financial records, building and facilities records, school council files, staff selection documents and correspondence as schools need to properly manage records to meet legislative and administrative responsibilities, the sources said....