Local Goa News

Thursday, June 16, 2016

18 government primary schools closed down this year

Number could rise in the coming days; consistent drop in government schools as 60 closed in three years

PANJIM: The BJP-led government finds itself in a rather ironic situation with a large number of government primary schools facing closure despite attempts to promote Konkani and Marathi education through the recently introduced scheme that grants schools Rs 400 per student.
In just 10 days of schools reopening for the academic year 2016-17, records indicate that 18 primary schools have shut down of which 12 were in the Marathi medium. Sources disclose that more elementary schools could close down in the coming days.
“The situation is grim. There are government primary schools with either negligible or no enrolment at all. It was thus decided to close schools with no enrolment and start the process to amalgamate those having low attendance with other primary schools in the vicinity,” a senior secretariat official said.
The number of schools with very low enrolment of students are situated in Ponda, Salcete and Bicholim while the 18 schools, which have been shut at Sattari, Pernem, Bicholim, Salcete, Mormugao and Canacona.
Records reveal that in the last three years, the number of government primary schools closing down is on the rise, with 60 schools having closed down in the last three years. In 2013-14, a total of 850 primary schools were operational but the number dropped to 815 in 2014-15 and further declined to 790 in 2015-16. The number of Marathi medium government primary schools also saw a significant drop from 738 to 725 last year.
The cash-strapped government, in its 2016-17 Budget had announced Rs 400 per student opting for Marathi and Konkani at the primary level. The total payout would be around Rs 19 crore wherein Marathi students would get over Rs 15 crore and a little over Rs 3 crore to those opting for Konkani as the MoI. According to last academic year records, the number of students with Marathi as their MoI was 31,359 of which 20,394 are in government primary schools, 10,965 in aided primary schools.
The Rs 400 per student scheme was announced hoping calm down the furious BBSM that has launched a sustained campaign against the government for its U-turn on the contentious MoI issue. BBSM and RSS have been demanding withdrawal of grants to English primaries and have even threatened to field candidates against the BJP in the 2017 elections.

TOI Goa News

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