Govt school on Raj Bhavan premises turns guest house

Govt school on Raj Bhavan premises turns guest house

The Government Lower Primary School located on the premises of the Raj Bhavan was closed in 2016-17. DH FILE PHOTO

Apparently, ‘after a decline in student enrollment’, the 42-year-old Government Lower Primary School on the Raj Bhavan premises shut down about three years ago.

Now, the aforementioned school has made way for ‘guest rooms’. 

In 2016-17, the state department of public instructions had closed the school following a proposal submitted by the Raj Bhavan secretariat, asking it be shut, citing a decline in student enrollment. 

As per the documents sought under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, a copy of which is with DH, the Raj Bhavan has constructed two storeys, worth Rs 1.39 crore, replacing the first and second floor of the old school building, with guest rooms and a conference hall. 

The department shifted the students to the Vasanthnagar Government School and reassigned the teachers to other schools. Parents, meanwhile, had opposed the closure of the school. They even submitted a memorandum to the governor. 

Intriguingly, the department data shows there was no decline in student enrollment. At the time of shutting down, there were over 11 students registered for Class 1. 

“There are schools that are running with fewer than 10 students. In this case, the decline in the number of students was not the only reason to shut it down. Instead, it had considered that none of the students were the children of Raj Bhavan employees. Most of them were children of construction workers,” said a senior official of the department. 

The school, set up in 1976, was the only government school in a 1-km radius. According to the Right to Education Act, it is mandatory to have a school in a radius of 1 km. 

“After the closing of the school, children of the migrant population staying in and around the Vidhana Soudha and Cubbon Park have no school nearby to join. We even sought details from the department regarding the schools the children were shifted to. Are they continuing their education? But, to date, we have not received a reply. According to my communication with children who were going to that school, it was a matter of pride for them,” says child rights activist, Nagasimha G Rao. 

When DH contacted the education department, officials said they had no information about the construction of guest rooms in place of the school building.