4,000 schools may be reopened in Rajasthan
After revising textbooks, the Congress government to revisit another decision of the previous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government — merging of 4,000 schools in the name of rationalization. Schools with low enrolment and high number of vacancies were merged with nearby schools to rationalize enrolment and teacher availability.
The Congress government is considering reopening those schools, said education minister Govind Singh Dotasra on Wednesday.
“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 Dotasra.
Educationists regard the attempt as a move in the right direction.
Komal Srivastava from Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti said that though considering to reopen schools is a good initiative, the government should take care that the schools are opened in correct places wherever it is needed, moreover they should appoint teachers immediately and follow the Right to Education rules.
“According to the RTE primary school should be available within 1 km reach of the students, similarly the distance is 2 km and 3 km for secondary and senior secondary student respectively.
With the merging of the schools, the new schools were nearly 5 km to 20 km away for the student. How do we expect a small child to walk this far? This was a reason why students specially girls we not able to go to schools.
Moreover, the government also referred to give travel allowance to the children to go to school when in the remote villages no commute is available to the children,” said Srivastav.
Former education minister and BJP MLA Vasudev Devnani, however, said that merging the schools was a calculated move which improved the quality of education in schools. “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 demanded 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.