Govt merges 700 schools for meager enrollment

Srinagar: The J&K government has ordered for the merger of 700 government schools across J&K which have meager enrollment of students. The decision for merger of 700 schools was made following an exhaustive exercise done by the School Education Department (SED) , while collecting the details of government schools with meager or zero enrollment of the students.

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.

As per the government policy, the primary schools having less than 15 students, middle school with less than 30 students, high schools with less than 50 students were to be merged with the nearby school to streamline the Pupil Teacher Ratio (PTR) in government schools.

Talking to Greater Kashmir Principal Secretary SED, Bishwajit Kumar Singh said they have finalised the merger of 700 government schools. “The schools with meager or zero enrollment of students will be merged with the nearby school to streamline the PTR in schools,” he said.

He said the schools have been only merged with adjacently located schools but were not officially closed.

“The schools will remain merged with the nearby schools and if in near future the enrollment of these schools will increase then the school will be shifted back to its original place and will function as a single school,” he told Greater Kashmir.

He said the department was not in position to officially close these institutions. “We had to follow a long procedure to close these institutions. So we only merged these schools,” he said.

As already reported by this newspaper, the office of the J&K Lieutenant Governor earlier also sought details of the staff strength and enrollment of the students in primary and middle schools.

An official said before merging the schools, the SED consolidated details of the government schools for their merger with the adjacently-located. “The details of the staff members were also consolidated for their rationalization and use of their services in other schools wherever required to overcome the dearth of the teaching staff,” an official said.

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