Pune: “The school on Raireshwar Fort in Bhor taluka, which falls in my constituency, will be shut down due to the government’s decision to close 1,314 schools that have less than 10 students.
“This was the only school for these children and the nearest school now for these displaced students is in Rayri village, which, according to reports, is around 35 km away from where they live,” Supriya Sule, MP, wrote in a letter to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
In the letter, Sule has urged the Chief Minister to look into the decision once again before implementing it, as it has put the future of thousands of children in Maharashtra at stake. She said, “The government’s logic that less number of students equals lower merit is totally unacceptable. Closing down the only school available for children living on a 400-metre high fort is violating all the rules of Right To Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act. When I tried to get information about the schools that are being shut, I wasn’t given proper answers. The villagers and teachers are agitated because of this decision. However, the government doesn’t seem to be bothered by their inconvenience.”
Vasant Kalpande, former chairman, Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, has challenged the government’s claim that schools with less students have problem of socialisation, saying that although schools do have certain influence in this process, it is not solely determined by the school.
“Also, I would like to assert that if a village has a population of less than 400 people, how do you expect the schools there to have a large number of students?” Sule added.
She concluded the letter by saying that it looks like the Chief Minister is slowly trying to drop all responsibility from the primary education sector, even though primary education and health care should be the State government’s main responsibility.
‘Small, but commendable schools’
-Sule said that there have been reports that out of the five ZP schools that the government is planning to shut down in Korpana taluka of Chandrapur district, there is one in Gedamaguda village, which is run and improvised by tribals and also certified by ISO.
-More than 400 teachers across State have paid a visit to this unique project.
- Two schools in Jivati taluka have been closed by government officials without any order.