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30 Uttarakhand secondary schools identified for merger to ensure better infrastructure

School education minister Arvind Pandey decided last year to merge schools, running in the same building or within a 1 km area, with an objective to minimise expenditure and provide better teaching-learning environment

dehradun Updated: Apr 14, 2018 21:55 IST
Nihi Sharma
Nihi Sharma
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand news,Secondary schools,Merger
Uttarakhand has over 19,000 schools -- basic, junior and secondary – with 57,300 teaching staff, a shortage of 6000 teachers against the sanctioned strength. (HT Photo)

The Uttarakhand school education department has listed about 30 government secondary schools (from Class 6 to 12) for merger to ensure better facilities, more teachers and enhanced infrastructure, though officials said the number could be reduced owing to local and political pressure.

School education minister Arvind Pandey decided last year to merge schools, running in the same building or within a 1 km area, with an objective to minimise expenditure and provide better teaching-learning environment.

The state has over 19,000 schools -- basic, junior and secondary – with 57,300 teaching staff, a shortage of 6000 teachers against the sanctioned strength.

“The merger will help in providing quality education to students. All subject teachers will be provided under one roof,” Pandey said.

The department had listed 400 basic and junior schools for merger. Most of the schools are located in Haridwar and Dehradun districts. The secondary schools listed for merger are also located in the same districts. The department will put up the before the cabinet to get approval for merger.

The Uttarakhand high court has also recommended that the state government may frame a scheme to merge existing schools, instead of establishing new one without adequate infrastructure.

The merger secondary schools won’t be a cakewalk. “This is going to be difficult as local and political pressure is going to come. Reason: People are keen on convenience of their kids, rather than their future,” an education official said requesting anonymity.

School education director RK Kunwar emphasised the importance of merger, especially of secondary schools.

“Through merger of secondary schools we will be able to provide teachers for each subject, which we are presently not able to give to schools that are located within 1 km area and have less than 20 students. It will better the quality of education,” Kunwar said.

The list is likely to be put up before the minister by next week. He will then consult the chief minister and seek approval from the cabinet, officials said.

Government teachers support the move. “It’s a great move. Instead of cluster of schools, we should have one big school with complete facilities,” said Sohan Singh, a member of the government teachers’ association.

The Rajasthan government has also decided for integration of schools and establishment of model schools to address the issues of insufficient enrolment and the existence of more than one school in a neighbourhood.

First Published: Apr 14, 2018 21:55 IST