Students in the Valley are giving government schools a miss. In the last one month, the education department in Kashmir has closed down over 100 schools where the number of students enrolled was between zero to 10. This includes more than 25 schools in Srinagar alone.
According to officials, 19 out of the 25 schools in Srinagar had zero students enrolled. The 'closed' schools, spread across the Valley have been merged with the nearest government-run school in the area. The move, government officials say, was taken as a part of rationalisation in schools.
"We have not closed the schools, it's just amalgamation. We have merged the schools with very few students mostly less than 10 students with the nearest school,'' said director school education Showkat Ahmad Beigh.
"It is just transfer of schools and students from one place to another,'' Beigh added.
Although the process has been started over a month back, Beigh says final number will be known in a few days. The government has also trying to ascertain the student-teacher ratio in the schools.
"What is surprising is that in some schools there were more teachers than students. So these teachers have been transferred to schools where there was dearth of teachers," said an official, who did not want to be named.
The department has identified over 300 such teachers and they may be transferred soon.
The issue was highlighted by the education minister in May when he claimed that schools have been sanctioned by successive government to generate employment in their constituencies without accessing the actual need.