CA Kapil Goel
Primary Education has a considerable emphasis in India. Whether it is the high level International schools in urban areas or the simple small schools in the rural areas. Primary schools are now a necessity in India as people are realizing the importance of education in our country.
If you are planning to start your own primary school in India, it is indeed a good business idea but it also involves a perfect planning of the requirements for opening a primary school and lot of dedication to keep it going well.
The following points describes the procedure to start a new primary school in India:
♠ Form a Trust or Society : As per Indian laws, Normally, private organizations cannot open schools in India. They have to register them as a society that has been created in accordance with the Societies Act of 1860 or as a trust that has been organized as per the Public Trust Act of individual states. And even a private organization who didn’t want to register as a society or trust & who is willing to set up a primary school in India can also set up a company as prescribed by Section 8 of the Companies Act 2013. All these legislations ensure that a school is set up as a non-profit making organization.
Note 1: The law also states that the entity willing to open the primary school should along with a governing board have at-least five to six members. The board should have a president, a secretary, and a chairman who are officially announced.
Note 2: This society needs to be a Non-Profit organization which means that the profit derived from the school needs to be used for the education institute and not for personal benefits.
In my opinion, In the society or trust or section 8 company, it is advisable to involve other members also who have an education related experience in this field.
♠ A Systematic business Plan : Once you have registered the trust or society, you need to create a systematic business plan and also start working on it simultaneously. You should be able to explain and provide answers for every aspect of your business plan. This plan includes estimations and possible details of infrastructure, capital investment, budget plan, affiliations, human resources, recruitment, administration plan, other facilities, curriculum details and so on.
♠ Acquiring of Land : The work of acquiring a land in the area where you plan to open a primary school is very important. You can take it on a lease or you can own it. Having your own land for this purpose is an advantage to you. You may be lucky to procure the land with a construction.
Note 1 : If you are planning any particular board affiliation to the school, make sure that you study their pre-requisite conditions for land and infrastructure of the school and make your plans as per there conditions.
Note 2: In case the organization wants to buy land from the government for the school it will be required to procure a no-objection certificate referred to as the Essentiality Certificate (EC) from the concerned state’s Department of Education.
The NOC ensures that particular areas have a proper balance of schools and that schools do not end up competing with each other. It also ensures that the society/trust starts building the school within 3 years of getting the permission- if it fails to do so then the particular entity will be required to reapply for NOC.
The concerned organization can then go to the relevant municipal corporation of the state for procuring the land after receiving the Essentiality Certificate. Laws state that land should be provided to the governing body at subsidized rates that are normally determined through auctions.
Note 3 : In case a member of a school’s governing body has his or her own land and wants to build the school over there, that individual will be required to get an NOC from the concerned state’s Department of Education. The applicants are required to state the requirement of a school in the area where they want to set the school up in the application for the NOC.
Note 4 : There are strict norms that have been laid down by the leading educational boards of India such as the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), the state government boards, and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE). One of these rules states that the schools should have a playground also.
♠ Arrangement of Capital Funds : Arrangement for the capital fund is also a significant task that you have to do. You can also avail loan from finance institutes, banks or other sources. So, create and maintain your financial records to keep them hassle free, like submitting your Income Tax Return timely etc.
♠ Time taken to build a fully functional schools in India : Under normal situations, it takes a year to start the school’s construction after creating the governing body but it sometimes takes more than a couple of years as well. The infrastructure of the school can be completed within a short period of 5-6 months following which the school authorities have to make applications for recognition.
♠ Approval from Education Department & Local Municipal Authorities : The approvals from the education department and the local Municipal authorities are now required to open a primary school in India. For this purpose, you need the detailed business plan of the school along-with the blue prints of the structure of the school building. If you have the construction ready, you can design it as per the proposed layout of classrooms, office and so on. If you have already applied for affiliation, you can also submit those records.
Application for the affiliation of a particular board or council can be started at this stage. You need to research the requirements and process for each board you wish to affiliate to and then prepare for the submission of documents for it. These requirements even starts from the specifications of the land of the school building to the recruitments and trainings of the school staff. Accordingly, you can plan the human resources that you need to hire.
Note : The approval provided by the municipality is deemed enough till Class 5th, but for classes from 6th to 8th the consent needs to come from the Department of Education, which also provides recognition for the higher classes. However, the approval for the latter stages is not provided before at least 2 years.
♠ Process of affiliation to schools : In case of private schools in India, the affiliation to schools is provided in stages. Normally, provisional affiliation is provided for classes from 1st to 6th and the guidelines are provided by the concerned education board. An inspection is conducted by them once all the facilities are in place and permanent affiliation is given after the inspectors are satisfied with the facilities given by the school.
♠ Documents and licenses required while starting a school : In India, a lot of legal processes come into place with this regard. When the school trust or society is being formed there should be a Memorandum of Association. This document is useful at all the later stages of the process. The owners also need to have a well laid out project report of their school. The following details are regarded as being important as well:
♠ Planning of the financial Aspects : Next step you need to plan is the financial aspects of your school. This contains the fee structure and other charges that you plan to propose in the school. The number of staff members, their salaries. This also includes the cost of the extra facilities and programs that you may provide like Air Conditioners, Computer Lab etc.
♠ Advertisement & Marketing : In today’s world, the most important step is the advertisement and marketing of your school’s brand. You can promote your brand through online or offline channels that you feel correct. You can hire professionals for brand strategies and advertising as it helps a great deal to advertise your school and gain more admissions. When the promotion begins, you will face a lot of enquiries from people that you need to deal with and queries that you need to answer to have more and more admissions.