Monday, March 17, 2014

Of ends and beginnings

Thursday, 29 August 2013 - 9:44am IST | Agency: DNA
State mulls closure of 13,700 schools with less than 20 kids.
The state government is planning to shut down schools having less than 20 students. The move seeks to curb the “wastage of money”, besides consolidating the huge education infrastructure.
An official affiliated with the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan said, “The school education department has identified over 13,700 such schools, including private and unaided institutions in the state, under the District Information System of Education Survey 2012. Of these, 3,779 schools have less than 10 students.”
On Tuesday, the department directed the municipal commissioners and CEOs of zilla parishads to find out if students studying in these schools can be shifted to other schools in the area as prescribed under the RTE Act. “The teachers, too, would be accommodated in other schools to maintain the teacher-student ratio,” said an official.
While a large number of these schools are in smaller cities and rural areas, those in Mumbai, too, are in the list.
A BMC official said, “We have been given a list of 26 schools with less than 20 students. The government has asked us to evaluate if students of these schools can be shifted to other schools. If schools are not available in the vicinity (as per the 1-km and 3-km norms for primary and secondary schools respectively), we have been asked to disburse transportation allowance to the kids.”
According to sources, these are mainly vernacular schools, some of which are being run due to the pressure of local corporators.

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