Education Minister Vinod Tawade told the media on Saturday, if the state were to strictly implement the Right to Education (RTE) Act, more than 12,000 schools would have closed down and the teachers would have lost their jobs.
Mumbai : The state education ministry has decided to shift all schools which have less than 10 students enrolled to other schools within a vicinity of three kilometres instead of shutting them completely. This arrangement will also save the jobs of teachers in these schools.
State Education Minister Vinod Tawade told the media on Saturday, if the state were to strictly implement the Right to Education (RTE) Act, more than 12,000 schools would have closed down and the teachers would have lost their jobs.
Tawade said RTE has given the right to ministry to shut down schools which have less than 20 enrolled students. “For the sake of students’ educational future, the education ministry has decided to shift only those schools which have less than 10 students currently studying,” said Tawade.
“There are 1314 such schools across the state. These schools will not be closed completely, we want to help the students and assure they will be shifted to the nearest school in that vicinity. The job of teachers from these schools will also be protected,” the minister added.
Elaborating on non-closure of schools, Tawade said, “In any school, suppose there are four students enrolled, in one year, it is likely more than 20 students may apply for admissions there. Hence we do not wish to shut the schools permanently.”
He clarified, some schools may not attract any admissions, in such cases, the premises will be used for Primary Health Centre (PHC) or other activities related to the state government.
The minister added few schools in the remote tribal areas will remain functional though no children have sought admissions since there are no other schools within the prescribed vicinity of one kilometre.
The state education ministry is conducting survey of primary and secondary schools run by the Zilla Parishad (ZP) and private institute across the state. It was revealed in 5002 schools, number of students enrolled is less than 10. Out of 5002 schools, 4353 schools run by ZP and 69 are private government aided schools.
The official from education ministry said 1314 schools will be shifted to nearby schools. Students from 2097 school can be shifted to other schools, but the students will need vehicles to reach the and 909 schools cannot be shifted currently and hence will remain open.
“There are 909 schools, 137 are from Gadchiroli district, 16 are from Chandrapur, 35 are from Sindhudurg, 44 from Thane, 125 from Ratnagiri, 107 from Raigad and 107 are from Satara,” said the official.