State govt plans to merge single-teacher schools

State govt plans to merge single-teacher schools

The Department of Primary and Secondary Education is contemplating on merging several single teacher schools. There are 3,450 schools with single teachers in the state.

After a review meeting with the top officials of the department here on Monday, Minister for Primary and Secondary Education N Mahesh told reporters that schools that have just one teacher would be merged with the ones nearby to ensure better education for students.

Mahesh, who is Bahujan Samaj Party MLA from Kollegal in Chamarajanagar district, said that there were  3,372 schools which had only one teacher out of a total of 21,225 primary schools in the state. Besides, 78 out of the 11,487 higher primary schools had just one teacher each. Overall, 7.89 % schools in the state have just one teacher and very few students.

The minister was also quick to clarify that these would not mean "shutting down" of the government schools but only an "integration".

"In the review meeting, I was given to understand that there are several such schools. Both infrastructure wise and manpower wise, it is not a viable option for the government to run them. Even for students studying here, we wish to improve the standard of education. Hence the idea," he said. Mahesh said that a ground report would be taken into account and the existing schools with one teacher would be merged with other government schools in the vicinity.

"The money that the government is now investing in running these schools can be channelised elsewhere. We are contemplating on providing to transport facility to students who are re-located to other schools. Students will thus get to study in schools with more number of teachers and the quality of education will improve," he said.

Mahesh said that it was his primary agenda to ensure that no student is left out from the education system.

The minister said that the government is investing Rs 5 core for starting 176 governmet public schools. "Our aim is to ensure that these schools are on a par with private schools," he said.

Bus passes

Mahesh said that free bus passes are being given to SC/ST students. However, this, he opined would lead to discrimination among students and the students could feel isolated. Hence, measures would be taken to ensure uniformity. 

In the previous budget, the Siddaramaiah government had promised free education to all girl students up to post graduation. This was set to benefit 3.7 lakh students. However, with the new government taking charge, the implementation of the scheme was hanging in balance. Mahesh said that he would push for the same to be implemented soon and have a meeting with Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy in this regard.