Barmer: As many as 174 students of an upper primary girls’ school in Barmer on Monday decided to drop out refusing to accept the state government’s decision to integrate them in a senior secondary co-educational school.
The girls and their parents also staged a protest outside the senior secondary school in Ranigaon on Monday where they have been asked to continue, and have applied for school-leaving certificates.
Under the Rajasthan government’s school integration programme, the girl’s upper primary school in Ranigaon was merged with the adjoining co-educational senior secondary school. Though the decision was taken in June, officials directed the school staff to shift the girls from August 1.
However, the parents have refused to let their daughters share classrooms with boys.
A delegation led by village sarpanch Ugam Singh met the principal Jaymala Bhoot and told her that if the girls’ school is closed, they will not allow their daughters to study with boys.
Singh told HT that on one side government is promoting girls’ education, but on the other, it is closing girls’ schools. “This is a double standard in the government’s policy,” he said.
He explained that villagers rarely agree to send their daughter to the schools.
“In such a situation, if the government closes girls’ schools, how will daughters complete their education? Instead closing girls’ school, governments should promote these schools with extra facilities,” he said.
The school’s principal Jaymala Bhoot confirmed that the girls had applied for leaving certificates, but said the decision had come from the government and they were just following orders.
Kishan Singh Ranigaon, Barmer block education officer, said he didn’t know why the villagers were protesting now.
“The decision of merger was taken a month ago and villagers are opposing it now,” he said, adding that he could not intervene in the matter as the decision had been taken at the state level.