Rationalisation of schools put on hold in AP

Rationalisation of schools put on hold in AP
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Highlights

The exercise relating to rationalisation of schools initiated a week ago in the state hit a roadblock following a word from Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu to the official machinery to tread with caution. After the cabinet meet, Naidu at a media conference here on Thursday informed that the government will consult teacher organisations and stakeholders and take it to its logical end.

CM wants officials to rework guidelines

Amaravati: The exercise relating to rationalisation of schools initiated a week ago in the state hit a roadblock following a word from Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu to the official machinery to tread with caution. After the cabinet meet, Naidu at a media conference here on Thursday informed that the government will consult teacher organisations and stakeholders and take it to its logical end.

The rationalisation exercise, which may force the government to wind up a large number of primary schools with poor student enrollment across the state, drew wild protests from teacher unions and Right To Education activists which culminated in a massive demonstration at the office of Director, School Education, at Ibrahimpatnam a few days ago.

CM Naidu said the exercise, which is although initiated with a good intention, is sending a wrong message to the people due to certain ambiguities in the guidelines. “We are doing the exercise. We have to appraise our minister after doing the exercise with respect to the guideline dealing with schools with 19 students and those with 10 students facing rationalization,” Adityanath Das, Principal Secretary, School Education told The Hans India.

Naidu said the government is spending Rs 22,000 crore on school education every year and falling student enrollment has become a serious cause for concern. “There are some schools with 7 to 9 students with a teacher. Does the government engage a teacher with a fatty salary just for half a dozen or so students,” he asked.

Ramesh Patnaik, a Right To Education activist, said rationalisation will throw at least 96,000 primary school students out of school. In addition, 53,000 students studying in upper primary schools with classes from sixth to eighth will be affected by the exercise. It all will run counter to the RTE, he contended.

Even as the rationalisation exercise is scheduled to come to a close on Friday, it is likely to be extended for another two days as a result of the CM’s direction.

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