The Minister for Mass Education and Schools of Odisha divulged the plans of his government to merge schools. Around 7700 schools will be merged with other schools for better use of the resources, efficiency, and finally, up-gradation of education in the state.
The subject of government taking mandate of schools was deliberated over at length in the Odisha state assembly.
Notably, there are around 14,382 schools in Odisha with a strength of less than 40 students. If the decision of the government takes effect, 7,722 schools will be merged. The criteria for deciding which schools will be merged is the strength of less than 20 students. The government claims it is a necessary step for the improvement of education in the state. However, the decision of merger will not be put into effect across the state indiscriminately. There are exceptions and reviews are being sought for the scheduled areas. For scheduled areas the schools with less than 15, not 20, students will be seen as fit for merger. The minister noted that the inputs MLAs are important to decide on specific areas in relation to the school merger.
The decision is seeing detraction from certain quarters, chiefly from the opposition. The merger, they say, will imply closure for schools in certain areas which may not be favorable for the children of the said areas.
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