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Of total 175, over 70 middle schools in Patiala district have less than 50 students

Parents claim teachers at private schools are more attentive towards their children; education department officials trying to enrol more kids at the govt schools.

punjab Updated: Jun 19, 2018 15:45 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Patiala
Patiala district,education,Punjab government
The education department cannot shutdown the schools as it will be a violation of the Right to Education Act according to which, it is mandatory to build a middle school in every 3-km.(HT Photo)

Of 175 middle schools in the district, as many as 72 have less than 50 students enrolled, fount the district education office (secondary).

The education department has also spotted three schools with less than 10 students enrolled — two in Rajpura and one in Ghanaur. In the ongoing academic session, only six students have enrolled at Government Middle School at Bahawalpur village in Ghanaur block; only nine students at the school in Abdulpur village; and 10 students at Government Middle School of Sadraur in Rajpura block.

In 10 schools, less than 30 students are enrolled, while less than 40 students are enrolled at 33 middle schools. From the past few years, government schools have been facing low enrolment crisis. Due to this, many low enrolment schools have been merged together.

The highest number of low enrolment schools have been identified at Bhadson (1-2) block, with as many as 17 schools having less than 50 students.

In Rajpura (1-2) block, there are 15 schools with less than 50 students enrolled. Whilein Bhunerheri (1-2) and Samana (1-3) blocks, 11 schools in each have less enrolment. Around 10 schools in Patiala (1-3) and Ghanour (1-2) blocks have been listed in the less enrolment category.

Low enrolment has emerged as a major challenge for the education department. And they can’t shut such schools as it will be a violation of the Right to Education Act.

According to the RTE Act, it is mandatory to build a primary school within every 1km radius and middle school within 3km radius.

District education officer (secondary) Kanwal Kumari said, “Low enrolment has comes out as a major issue in the recent years. We are still trying to enrol more and more children into the schools.”

Baldev Singh, a parent from Nanheri village in Rajpura, said, “Due to lack of infrastructure and poor quality of education at the government schools, enrolment rate has declined. In competitive times, most parents prefer to send their children to good schools, despite facing financial crisis.”

Gurbaj Bhalla,another parent from Patiala, said, “Students’ overall development is important. So, I shifted my kids from government school to a private one. Teachers at government schools do not take care of our kids’ overall development.”

A government teacher, on condition of anonymity, said, “Most of our time is wasted in filling attendance reports and working on other government schemes.We have been working like clerks and not teachers.“

“Also, the monthly parent-teacher meetings are not being organised by the school authorities. Teachers have been lagging in technical knowledge, which is important for a student in these times,” the teacher added.

First Published: Jun 19, 2018 15:45 IST