28,847 govt, aided schools to be merged

The government has proposed to merge government and aided schools with low admission to schools that are located within a one-kilometer radius of these schools. This, its believes will improve the quality of education. DH image for representation.

In a move that has invited the wrath of education experts, the budget has proposed to ‘merge’ 28,847 state government and aided schools that have less admission and bring the number to 8,530 schools.

Terming it a tactful use of words, experts believe that this means nothing but closure of the 28,847 schools that now have lesser number of students.

The government has proposed to merge government and aided schools with low admission to schools that are located within a one-kilometer radius of these schools. This, its believes will improve the quality of education.

Experts, however, believe that the usage of the term ‘merge’ is the same as closing down all of these government schools.

V P Niranjanaradhya, Programme Head, Universalisation of School Education, NLSUI called the announcements “impractical and unscientific”. He said that these are bound to destroy public education.

“It is disastrous and disappointing. These are only ill-informed decisions. Education serves as a foundation. You can’t assure other rights without this,” he added.

He said that it is nothing but “mischief” to use the word merger. “How can you merge one school with another without shutting it down?” he questioned.

Nagasimha G Rao, child rights activist, said that there is skepticism over what will happen to the teachers if schools are merged? This is a move towards privatisation and reflects poorly on the efforts made by the Education department for publicity of these government schools.

English medium

In an attempt to increase the admissions in government schools, the state government has now proposed to start English medium classes along with the existing Kannada medium classes.

Initially, this would be tried on a pilot basis at 1,000 schools across the state. While on one hand, several government schools are being merged, the state has allocated a ‘special package’ of Rs 150 crore to improve infrastructure in government schools.

Rao said, “There has been a proposal to start English schools for long. Where are the teachers? Even now, there is shortage of subject teachers. Starting these classes would amount to child rights violation because most teachers do not have fluent English. Teachers’ training is essential. Where is the faculty for this? It is only easy to have it on the wish list and tough to implement.”

Pre primary

The department will also start pre-primary classes in a phased manner.

To begin with, as many as 4,100 anganawadis would be relocated to government primary schools in the vicinity where ‘Balasnehi Centres’ would be established.

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28,847 govt, aided schools to be merged

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