Eight govt primary schools to be shut down

Eight govt primary schools to be shut down

Students and teachers stunned by move even as govt promises to bear cost of extra transport

Eight govt primary schools to be shut down

 Eight government primary schools in the district face closure because the Department of Public Instructions has decided to execute a government decision to close or merge schools with less than 10 students.

 The closures will be executed in different stages. Initially, arrangements will be made to transfer students to nearby schools. Teachers will be transferred to others schools, after going through a counseling process. The process of closing down the schools will be completed in a week’s time. Schools which have been identified for closure have been sent circulars and parents of students have been informed about the decision. The Department has promised to bear the transport expense of students admitted to other schools. The move has shocked teachers and students. Many parents expressed confusion about how their children would attend schools in far-away places. Authorities attempted to comfort parents by reiterating the pledge to pay the extra transport expenses of relocated students.  

Villagers express concern

Residents of Tandramaradahalli have expressed concerns over the closure of their school. “Closing of schools is not a good idea. Farmers and people from lower middle class prefered to send their children to these schools as the fee was affordable. There should be at least one school in a village. Decision to close down the school will surely affect students,” said K V Narayanaswamy, a resident. He added that the school had been built long ago and that even he had studied there. “It is really sad that the school will be closed down,” he added.

Raghunathreddy, the Block Development Office, said that he is bound the obey the government ruling. 

“We have to obey it, as it is a decision of government,” he said. “Originally, 10 schools were selected to be closed, but after a review eight schools were identified. Students of the affected schools will be transferred to other schools and teachers will be transferred to schools with vacant seats.”

Private schools

Many residents pointed out the numbers of private schools in rural areas have been on the rise. One complaint is that private school educators have been trying to woo children away from government schools.   “They are not satisfied with the fact that urban children prefer to study in private schools. Now authorities of private colleges have started a campaign to visit rural areas and distribute leaflets and pamphlets, to coax parents to enlist their children to private schools. They even try to lure them with explanations that speaking English will be a benefit and make promises of having better facilities.

Such efforts usually continue until parents agree to send their children to their schools,” says Shridharmurthy of Tandramaradahalli.  “There is high competition among private schools. Every school tries to impress parents with their facilities,” he added.