The Gujarat authorities has closed down round 90 authorities major colleges and merged practically 500 of them since 2020, in response to knowledge accessed by The Indian Categorical.
That is the third such step after two failed makes an attempt in 2013 and 2019 when the initiative needed to be deserted following protests from numerous sections, together with villagers, educationists and the opposition Congress.
As per the info, of the 86 authorities major colleges closed down over the previous two years, 28 colleges didn’t have a single scholar, whereas one other 36 colleges had enrolled lower than 10 college students.
As per the “Mission Schools of Excellence (MSE)” scheme launched in 2020, the federal government was to improve half of the full authorities major and secondary colleges and shut down “non-viable” colleges. The scheme is funded by the World Financial institution and the Asian Infrastructure Funding Financial institution (AIIB) for a interval of six years.
Justifying the choice, State Schooling Minister Jitu Vaghani advised this paper, “It was during the Congress regime that government schools were opened in falia (yards) and wadi (farms) without looking at the feasibility in the long run. Most of these schools have very poor enrollment, including a few with no students at all. What is wrong if these schools are merged or closed down? No student was forced to take admission in a private school but accommodated in nearest government schools.”
Whereas colleges with major lessons — Class 1 to five — have been merged with close by authorities colleges inside a radius of 1 kilometre, higher major lessons — Class 6 to eight — had been merged with these inside a distance of three kilometres.
“Beyond this limit, the state government provides transportation costs to students,” schooling secretary Vinod Rao mentioned.
Equally, amongst 497 authorities major colleges merged throughout the state, 9 colleges had zero enrollment. Over 130 colleges had enrolled 1-10 college students whereas one other 107 colleges had numbers between 11 and 20.
Over 1,300 authorities lecturers who had been affected with the merger and shutting down, had been accommodated in close by colleges.
As per the Socio Financial Assessment 2022 tabled within the state meeting, the variety of government-run major colleges had gone down from 33,729 in 2018-’19 to 33,348 in in 2020-’21 .
“Consolidation and strengthening of bigger schools will take place now where students from smaller schools will be attracted towards these bigger ones. The smaller schools do not have to be closed down as pre-primary and Classes 1 and 2 might run from there while the remaining classes will be merged with nearby bigger schools,” mentioned Rao.
The state authorities started merger of lessons in practically 1,470 higher major lessons the place lower than 20 college students had enrolled, with their counterpart lessons in close by colleges in 2021, and initiated steps to accommodate 1,800 lecturers who had been rendered surplus.
In 1,280 of those colleges, lessons 6 and seven had been merged whereas in 190 colleges, solely class 5 had been merged with colleges close by.
Initially, there was resentment to the choice and the schooling division introduced down the energy in lessons from 25 to 30 college students to twenty or much less, assuring that no surplus trainer could be transferred exterior the district.
Whereas merging lessons includes only some chosen lessons, the varsity continues to run however in a faculty merger whole faculty is merged with a close-by faculty. In each these, variety of surplus lecturers varies relying on components like lessons merged and lecturers employed for merged lessons or on the merged faculty.
Rao mentioned that a lot of the lecturers had been accomodated in the identical taluka whereas 100 per cent had been inside the similar district. In Kutch, 180 colleges had been merged — the very best within the state, whereas in Jamnagar, 14 colleges with 100 lessons had been merged.
The federal government first determined to merge colleges in 2013, figuring out practically 13,450 of practically 33,000 major colleges, with energy under 100 and 6,826 major colleges with energy under 50. Nonetheless, the transfer was deserted as a consequence of protests from villagers, civil society, educationists in addition to lecturers associations.
The second such transfer in August 2019, for merging 3,000 major colleges of the 5,100 colleges, couldn’t go forward following opposition and protests by the Congress.