Nine govt schools closed down in Megunda hobli

As many as nine schools in Megunda hobli in Koppa taluk have been closed down due to people’s penchant for English medium schools, migration of people from Malnad due to crop loss and lack of students.

This along with negligence of officials has led to school assets, worth crores of rupees, being stolen by miscreants.

The government had opened primary schools in various places of Malnad and had provided kitchen along with accessories, furniture, playground and other facilities, for the benefit of children from rural areas.

But, as areca nut farmers incurred a huge crop loss owing to yellow leaf disease in Megunda hobli, they were compelled to migrate to towns.

As a result labourers and local merchants also had to shift to towns, which resulted in the drain of youth power. Owing to lack of students, the government schools were closed. Schools in Arehalla, Theerthakere, Menasinahadya, Talavane, Maduvinakere, Neranki, Golagodu, Adigebaile and Kithlaguli in the hobli have been closed down by education department citing poor attendance.

The premises of the closed schools have now become a den of unlawful activities such as gambling. The doors, windows and others valuables have been stolen by thieves.
In Adigebailu school, theives have even decamped with stone slabs laid as fence around the school. The school was closed in 2010.

The coconuts and mangoes in the trees have also vanished. The land spreading over two acres, now faces the danger of encroachment as officials concerned have not taken care to preserve the school property.

A local resident Prasanna said that stone slabs laid on the floor of the library and equipment in the kitchen had also been stolen.

Due to lack of maintenance, some schools are on the verge of collapse. The education department is not sure about the responsibility of preserving the school buildings which have been closed down.

The parents are not willing to send their children to Kannada medium schools as a result existing schools are facing shortage of students, said School Development and Monitoring Committee former president Sudhakar.

Koppa BEO Nagesh said the closed schools would be monitored by respective gram panchayats and a letter had been written to the GPs in this regard. But, Jayapura Gram Panchayat PDO said that higher primary school building in Maduvinakere in Jayapura GP limits had not been handed over to the GP by the education department. 
It is a similar plight faced by Huligaradi and Kithlaguli schools in the limits of Agalagandi Gram Panchayat.

According to villagers, due to lack of co-ordination among government departments, assets worth crores of rupees in the schools were stolen. People have urged the departments and officials concerned to look into the matter.

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