Almost two years on, the state education department is yet to map schools in urban areas. This is needed in order to identify the number of schools in an area and allocation of students from economically weaker sections in neighbourhood schools.
According to the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 25% children belonging to weaker sections and disadvantaged groups in the neighbourhood must be provided free and compulsory elementary education till class 8.
Besides identifying neighbourhood schools in the area, the mapping exercise will also state the number of students in the neighbourhood who are out of school and subsequently the need for more schools.
Government officials said they were trying to finish mapping in urban areas and come up with guidelines soon. “Mapping schools in urban areas is taking some time because the dynamics of a school in an urban area is different from that of a rural area. There are language differences, differences in infrastructure and availability of space,” said an official from the school education department.
In 2011, the state completed mapping of schools in rural areas in the state and found the need to establish 2,080 schools from class 1 to class 8. The Act also states that the state must establish a primary school at every kilometre and an upper primary school at every three kilometres.