Govt begins exercise to merge schools with meager enrollment

Representational Pic
Representational Pic

Srinagar, Dec 28: The School Education Department has started an exhaustive exercise to collect the details of the government schools having meager or zero enrollment of students.

The move has come after the J&K government decided to rationalise around 2000 schools - 1000 in Kashmir and 1000 in the Jammu division - for having a meager enrollment of students.

A meeting of the committee of secretaries headed by the Chief Secretary was also convened on December 1 regarding the functioning of the government schools with meager enrollment.

In wake of this, a fresh communication has been issued by the Administrative Department of School Education wherein Director Education Kashmir and Jammu divisions have been asked to furnish the details of the schools having a meager enrollment of students.

Under this initiative, the government is planning to vacate school buildings following the merger of schools with low enrolment.

The government has made it mandatory for a government school to have a minimum enrollment of 15 students to remain functional as a separate institution.

The move has come after the government found schools operating with disproportionate Pupil-Teacher Ratio (PTR) and having a meager enrollment of students but surplus staff posted at these institutions.

The government has decided to execute the rationalisation of schools by using Geo-mapping of schools that would give an exact idea of the distance between the two schools.

Meanwhile, in a fresh communication issued by Deputy Director Planning, the Director Education Kashmir and Jammu have been asked to submit the details of all government primary schools with enrolment less than 10.

The government has also sought the list of the Government Upper Primary Schools (GUPS) with enrolment less than 30 and high schools having less than 70 students enrolled.

“It shall be ensured that the norms or guidelines of Right to Education (RTE) Act may not be violated,” the document reads.

The department has devised a format to collect the details of all these schools.

“The requisite information complete in all respects as per devised formats already provided should reach to the Administrative Department without fail,” the document reads.

This would be the second exhaustive exercise to be initiated by the government after around six years to streamline the PTR and overall functioning of schools.

In 2015, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led coalition government merged around 2400 government schools for having meager or no student enrollment.

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