At the moment there are altogether 502 schools under the grant-in-aid (Aided) elementary schools under the Education(s) department since its inception on 1-10-2008 of which 252 schools are in the hill areas. The KSO has come to know that the government has planned to shut down 169 schools in which 60 elementary schools and 5 high schools are in the hill areas. The government plans to cut down the cost of imparting education to the people at the tune of Rs. 25 crores from this exercise. The government must realize that it is planning to deny education to its people if it goes ahead with this gory scheme.
It should be known that there are no private schools within reach in almost all the hill villages in the state unlike the villages in the valley areas. Putting these poor villages of the hill areas under the axe will amount to denial of the right for education to thousands of underprivileged children living below poverty line (BPL) who nevertheless afford to go to private schools tens of kilometres away from their villages.
The government must also realize that the condition and the circumstances faced by the people of the hill areas in respect of education differ to the situation in the valley where there are private schools in almost all Leikais.
At a time when the Central government plans to bring education to every doorstep in the country, the state government instead tries to take away education from its people especially the underprivileged tribal children in the hill areas.
In these aided schools there are also unapproved teachers to assist the approved teachers in running the schools in the past 28 years. The fates of these teachers are hanging in the balance. The government should instead try to appoint the teachers as approved teachers so as to justify their hard works through these years. There are about 350 unapproved teachers in the 252 schools. It is high time the government must act for the welfare of these unapproved teachers who served tirelessly for the last 28 years.
It is the cherished objective of the KSO and the other fraternal students’ organization to bring about quality education to the people. So, hindrances in any form from any quarter are uncalled for and the KSO is prepared to go to any length to achieve its objective of ushering quality education.
If the government is bent on closing down these aided schools it should first open full-fledged government schools in every village where these elementary schools are functioning.
And if in any case the government is no satisfied with the performance of the teachers or the functioning of the schools, it should take up stringent measures on the teachers. But in no uncertain term it should close down the schools which would jeopardize the fate of unprivileged village children who could not afford education in towns and cities.
Over and above, if the government is sincere enough for educational development in the state it must shift its policies of containing education in towns and cities but see a wider perspective by looking into the problem and needs of the hill people in the education field.
Therefore if the government proceeds with its plan to close down the grand-in-aid (Aided) elementary schools in the hill areas, which conditions differs from the ones in valley areas, the KSO and its fraternal students’ organisations will fight tooth and nail against the government policy, the outcome of which will not be in the interest of the government.
So, the KSO GHQ urges the government to shelve its plan of closing down of the aided elementary schools and high schools in the hill areas in the name of social justice and development.