Hyderabad: With an aim to improve administration and to streamline primary education the Telangana government has decided to merge schools. Education minister Kadiyam Srihari has issued orders to all DEOs to send a list of primary schools having inadequate student strength. Primary schools with less students will be merged with nearby primary schools.
The schools which have one to 10 students, are going to be merged with other schools. Arrangements should be completed before the reopening of schools, that is before June 12, the minister ordered. Around 4,600 schools have been identified to be merged. However, the teachers of government schools and parents are not happy with the decision of the minister as teachers and students will have to move to new schools.
According to teaching staff and parents associations, instead of merging schools the government should try to increase enrolment of students by creating awareness about education. They also said that reducing schools can be problematic in future especially when the demand for government schools increase in cities. The decline in the numbers of government schools will enable private schools to hike fees massively.
N. Narayana, president, Telangana Parents Association (TPA) said, “The government decision to merge schools will defeat the education policy. It will lead to the closure of thousands of schools in dalit and tribal habitations. Even if transportation is provided that cannot cover all students.”
“The obligation to provide schools within a radius of one km will be defeated and thousands of teacher posts will disappear. If the government can provide quality education in English medium the student strength will rise. Merger or closure of schools will have a negative impact on education. Hence it is not advisable to merge schools.”
K. Prabhakar, a teacher at a government school said, “If the government shuts schools instead of increasing facilities in schools then it’s a failure of the government. When there is a need for more schools as fees is being hiked in private schools why is the government merging schools. Instead of merging schools the government should try to create awareness among parents about the importance of education.”