Education minister, Vinod Tawde welcomes NHRC notice to shut down schools with less than 10 students

Updated: 29 December, 2017 12:44 IST | A Correspondent | Mumbai

Says it gives state a chance to explain shutting down schools with less than 10 students

The government's decision to shut down schools with less than 10 students drew a lot of ire. Representation pic
The government's decision to shut down schools with less than 10 students drew a lot of ire. Representation pic

After taking suo motu cognisance of news reports regarding closing down of 1,300 government schools with less than 10 students, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had issued a notice to the Maharashtra government. While this may be perceived as bad news, state education minister Vinod Tawde on Thursday said he is happy this notice has come their way. “We consider this as an opportunity for us to prove how we are only providing a more nurturing atmosphere to students from such schools by taking this decision,” said Tawde. The state has been given four weeks to respond to the notice.

Major controversy
The state government’s education department had declared last month that 1,300 government schools, mostly Zilla Parishad ones, which have less than 10 students will be closing down. It was announced that all of these students would get shifted to bigger schools nearby. The move sparked major controversy in the education circles with many stating the government is snatching away the right to education from children residing in rural areas. Taking note of several news reports regarding the same, NHRC issued a notice to the state government.

Answers to every question
The notice also points out how it will be impossible for students to reach schools in monsoon from remote areas. “We have answers to each of the question raised by the NHRC. In such small schools, students were only learning through textbooks; but going to school means much more than that. There are extra-curricular activities that contribute to the holistic development of a child. By combining them with bigger schools, we are taking the advantage of inclusive education where these students are getting different types of platforms to help shape their personality,” explained Tawde. He also spoke about the government’s plans to continue the old schools at their original places during the monsoon or any other times when it is impossible for children to reach to the new school.

Number of schools in state with less than 10 students

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First Published: 29 December, 2017 10:30 IST

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