Chhattisgarh govt to reopen 260 schools shut for 15 years in Maoist-hit areas
Chief minister Bhupesh Baghel will make the formal announcement of the reopening of the schools on June 16 during the ‘Shala Pravesh Utsav’
RAIPUR: The Chhattisgarh government has decided to reopen at least 260 government schools in Dantewada, Sukma, Narayanpur and Bijapur districts, which were shut 15 year ago owing to Maoist violence, a move that backs the central and state governments’ resolve to fight Naxalism with education.
The state government in an official statement said on Monday that chief minister Bhupesh Baghel will make the formal announcement of the reopening of the schools on June 16 during the ‘Shala Pravesh Utsav’ (school admission fest).
Nearly 400 government schools were forced to shut down around 15 years ago due to the Naxal insurgency in Bastar, the government statement said.
“These schools were closed because of one problem or the other related to Maoism. We are now planning to reopen them as the government has been able to deal with the Maoist problem in these areas. Teachers have been posted to these schools. The exact number of students can only be ascertained only after schools reopen, but it will be between 20 and 50 students in one school,” said Alok Shukla, Chhattisgarh’s education secretary.
Officials claimed that district collectors have been ordered to ensure full admission and attendance of children in primary and pre-primary classes.
The authorities have also been asked to ensure the deployment of teachers from day one of the sessions.
Officials overseeing the initiative said several schools in the interiors of Bastar division were closed during the anti-Naxal movement Salwa Judum in 2005-2006.
The ‘judum’ (anti-Maoist civil militia) was disbanded by the Supreme Court of India in 2011, calling it illegal and unconstitutional.
“The Congress government, since coming to power in 2018, took the initiative and reopened the dilapidated schools buildings after renovations, and also constructed new ones,” the official mentioned above said.