Odisha Cong MLA threatens to slit his throat if school closure move is not reversed
In two separate notifications issued by the state school and mass education department during August and September this year, the government had decided to shut down the schools with student strength less than 20.Updated: Nov 22, 2020, 13:59 IST
Congress Odisha MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati on Saturday created a flutter in the Assembly threatening to slit his throat if the state government went ahead with its decision to shut down 14,000 schools primary and upper primary schools across the state in the name of consolidation and rationalisation.
“The decision to shut down the schools violates the right to education. I have told the Assembly Speaker that if the schools are closed, I will take my life in the Assembly,” said Bahinipati.
However, school and mass education minister Sameer Dash said 7,772 schools and not 14,000 schools would be closed down for imparting quality education to the students. “It is not possible to provide those students even a classroom and a class teacher. Suppose there are 15 students in a school studying in Class I to Class V. How is it possible to impart quality education,” he asked. He, however, said a memorandum in this respect, following a meeting of all parties, will be submitted to the chief minister.
In two separate notifications issued by the state school and mass education department during August and September this year, the government had decided to shut down the schools with student strength less than 20. The government argued that it would lead to improvement in the learning environment, better infrastructure facilities, better academic environment and co-curricular facilities for the students.
The move termed “Consolidation and rationalisation” under Niti Aayog’s Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital in Education (SATH-E) project is already under implementation with several such schools being merged with the nearest bigger schools called Lead Schools over last few months.
At an all-party meeting organised in Bhubaneswar by Odisha Abhibhabaka Mahasangha, the BJP demanded that when the pandemic is yet to subside this kind of decision to close down government schools is not acceptable. The party threatened to protest in front of block education offices across the state.