Over 300 Gujarat Primary Schools Lack Multiple Classrooms, Education Minister Pledges Action

Over 300 Gujarat Primary Schools Lack Multiple Classrooms, Education Minister Pledges Action

This revelation came in response to a query raised by Congress MLA Kirit Patel during the Question Hour.

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Wednesday, February 21, 2024, 07:10 PM IST
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Kuber Dindor, Minister for Tribal Development, Primary, Secondary and Adult Education, Gujarat | Twitter

A startling revelation emerged during the Gujarat Legislative Assembly session on Tuesday, highlighting concerns about the state's primary education infrastructure. Education Minister Kuber Dindor confirmed that 341 state-run primary schools in Gujarat currently operate with just a single classroom. This revelation came in response to a query raised by Congress MLA Kirit Patel during the Question Hour.

The minister cited several reasons for this situation, including the demolition of dilapidated classrooms, sparse student attendance in certain areas, and the lack of available land for new construction. He assured the assembly that the government is committed to addressing this issue and promised to build new classrooms in these schools "as soon as possible" in a phased manner.

MLA Patel further raised concerns about the large number of vacant administrative positions within the education department. As of December 2023, 1,459 posts of class-1 and class-2 officers remain unfilled. Dindor acknowledged this issue and stated that these positions would be filled through promotions and direct recruitment at the earliest.

However, Patel expressed strong criticism of the state's education system under the current BJP government. He pointed to Gujarat's poor performance in the 2023 Performance Grading Index report, which revealed that nearly a quarter of primary school students cannot read Gujarati and almost half cannot read English. He also claimed that Gujarat does not rank among the top five states in terms of educational performance.

In response to these criticisms, Dindor highlighted several initiatives undertaken by the government to improve the education system. He mentioned the construction of over 65,000 smart classrooms, with an additional 43,000 under construction. Additionally, he emphasized the "Mission Schools of Excellence" project, which has seen the construction and planned construction of 30,000 new classrooms and 20,000 computer labs across the state.

The minister also addressed concerns about dropout rates, stating that they have significantly decreased from 37.22% to 2.68% in 2022-23 due to government efforts. He further mentioned the appointment of over 22,000 contractual teachers (Vidhya-Sahayaks) and an allocation of over ₹2,785 crore for the upgradation of primary schools in the upcoming year.

While the government outlines plans for improvement, the revelation of single-classroom schools and concerns about educational quality raise questions about the accessibility and effectiveness of primary education in Gujarat.

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