Future of over 4,000 govt primary schools in limbo

Future of over 4,000 govt primary schools in limbo
Highlights

The much-feared exercise of rationalisation of teachers that likely to lead the closure of over 4,000 upper primary schools across Telangana appears to be imminent before the start of upcoming academic year. 

Hyderabad: The much-feared exercise of rationalisation of teachers that likely to lead the closure of over 4,000 upper primary schools across Telangana appears to be imminent before the start of upcoming academic year.

In all, there are 28,562 primary, UPS and high schools, besides 47 Central government schools with teacher strength of 1.28 lakh in the state.

Albeit the government’s aim is to ensure effective utilisation of teachers through rationalisation exercise, the leaders of teachers’ unions and the educationists fear that the process is likely to affect the very essence of the Right To Education (RTE) Act.

On the one hand, the state-run schools have inadequate number of teachers, but on the other hand there are a number of schools with less student strength but more number of teachers.

However, the rationalisation is intended to ensure adequate number of teachers available in each school, it’s reported that under the guise of addressing this problem, the government wants to close about 4,481 schools in the state.

This apart, the government has plans to introduce a two-tier education system – primary (Class I to Class V) and high school (Class VI to Class X), merging the upper primary schools (UPSs) with the high schools.

There are at least 398 schools in the State with zero strength, 980 schools with strength of 1 to 10 students, 2,333 schools with strength of 11 to 20 students. It appears that plan is to merge 3,244 UPS schools with the nearby high schools within the radius of 3 km.

If the distance is more 3-km, these UPSs will be upgraded as high schools. The 770 high schools that didn’t have more than 100 student strength will be merged with the nearby high schools within a radius of 5 km.

According to an estimate, a whopping 4,481 schools in the State are likely to be closed. The closure of schools will have serious bearings on students of the deprived sections, especially the girl education, besides an increase in dropout numbers.

This apart, the move is also likely to affect the recruitment of teacher posts. It may be noted here that with the closure of schools the government will have as many as 13,398 teachers at its disposal.

Meanwhile, the speculation is rife that government had already identified schools for merger using Global Positioning System (GPS).

Speaking to The Hans India, Democratic Teachers Federation (DTF) State president M Raghushankar Reddy accused the government of deflating the spirit of RTE in the name of rationalisation.

Admitting the need for rationalisation of teachers, Reddy urged the government to take it up in a scientific way rather than using it as a tool for its vested interests.

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