Pune: In a direct allegation against the government, MLC Kapil Patil, while speaking to media in the city, said the government is shutting down government schools in the State to give way to Patanjali fame Ramdev Baba to open schools across Maharashtra.
His comment comes at a time when the government is being accused of trying to privatise the education sector in the State, by shutting down thousands of government schools and granting permission to corporates to open schools in the State’s rural areas.
“The government is trying to reduce the responsibility of aided schools from its shoulders, and the Education Department’s decision to shut down 1,314 ZP schools is just the beginning of the phase-by-phase privatisation of the education sector in the State. This is a fearsome situation, especially for the children of the poor. Ramdev Baba’s proposal to the Central government to start ‘Gurukul’ schools in 500 districts across the State is the beginning of communalisation of education,” Patil said.
City-based education experts have expressed concern over this, saying that a few months ago, the news of Ramdev Baba getting permission to start a private board of education were floating across several media platforms, thus there is a possibility that the fear expressed by Patil coming true.
“In the last five years, the government has failed in their promise to provide children in the State quality education. RTE Act is not being followed properly and they want to turn the education system into a private affair in the name of improving quality. The government schools are being ignored by the State because if they run well, the private schools would be at loss,” Matin Mujawar, educationist, Shikshan Hakka Manch, stated.
Education expert Kishor Darak alleged that land swindling could be a reason behind shutting down of government schools, especially in urban areas.
“We have written a letter to the Governor, stating how the shutting down of the schools would only affect the children from economically weaker classes of the society adversely, and requesting him to interfere to prevent gross violation of a fundamental right of children,” Darak added.