Several decisions pertaining to education in the state of Rajasthan taken by the last BJP dispensation are being revisited and reviewed by the ruling Congress government. This includes the revision of the textbooks nullifying the changes made under the BJP government and revisiting the merger of 4,000 schools done in the name of rationalization.
It is to be noted that in the tenure of the BJP government in the state the schools with low enrolment and considerably high number of vacancies were merged with schools in proximity in a bid to rationalize the enrolment and teacher availability. As a result, several schools were closed. The current congress government is considering the reopening of these schools.
“We are presently under the process of reviewing nearly 4,000 schools across the state which were closed during the tenure of BJP government. Only thing we want to be sure about is that enough students should be available for these schools. Soon a good decision will be taken,” said education minister Govind Singh Dotasra.
The move gets the nod of the Educationists
The educations in the state have approved of the decision of reopening the schools. Komal Srivastava from Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti said that it is good that the schools are being reopened yet the essentiality of the school in a particular location must be taken into consideration and the appointment of the teachers must follow forthwith. Besides, the stipulations of the Right to Education act must be heeded while reopening the schools.
It is notable that as per the RTE primary school should be available within 1 km reach of the students, likewise the stipulated distance of secondary and senior secondary schools for a student is 2 km and 3 km respectively.
The merger of the schools that was done to rationalize the enrollment and the availability of teachers rendered the schools as far as 5 km to 20 km for the student. The distance was cited as a major factor for absenteeism in schools and girl students were harder hit.
Moreover, the travel allowance that was given to the students became meaningless in the face of non-availability of conveyance in the remote villages.
The former education minister Vasudev Devnani has defended the move of his government that effected the merger of the schools. He said that merger of the schools was well-deliberated and planned move on the part of the last state government. “There were several places where the government schools were running in 1 km radius, moreover there were some places where two different schools were running from the same building, such schools were merged. It is very wrong to say that the schools were closed when each of them were merged. After we merged 20,000 schools in the state the demand from several areas to reopen the schools came in where the students were facing difficulty. We therefore reopened nearly 2,400 schools from the ones which were merged,” said Devnani.
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