CANACONA – 4(Four) Government Primary Schools (GPS) in Canacona have been closed this academic year (2023-24), even as the enrollments of students in government primary schools have fallen to 1035 against the last academic year’s (2022-23) 1059 enrollments.
3(Three) Government Primary Schools had to be closed for want of students when the schools reopened for the last academic year (2022-23), informed Canacona ADEI Lawrence Pereira, when contacted. Pereira further informed that except for one, all the other three single teacher run GPS’s, the sole teacher have also retired at the end of last academic year, while one teacher is posted to another school during the current academic year.
The GPS which are closed due to ‘Nil’ enrolment of students are Dhavalkhazan(Agonda), Idhar(Loliem-Polem), Muthal (Sadolxem-Poinguinim) and Molorem (Khola). Except for one student at Molorem, which parent shifted their child to another nearby school, there were no new enrollments for the 2023-24 academic year in any of the 3 other schools.
Providing further details of students enrolment, Pereira informed that out of the 58 Government Primary Schools presently functioning with a minimum of just one Teacher in Canacona taluka, two of the GPS’s at Maxem (Loliem-Polem village) and Avem (Khotigao) are functioning with a least number of just only 3 students each, while the GPS Nuvem (Shristhal) has the highest of 56 students with two teachers.
Similarly, there are 15 GP Schools having less than 10 enrollments and and another 18 GPS will less than 20 students also functioning with a least of just one teacher while the remaining 21 Govt primary Schools from 21-37 enrollments and only GPS Nuvem(Shristhal) has a maximum strength of 56 students.
The students enrollments in 56 GPS’s is 1035, while the 17 aided primary schools have strength of 1549 students for 2023-24 academic year.
The two Government Middle Schools (GMS) at Palolem and Patnem (both in Canacona municipality) also has a meagre enrolment just 9 and 11 students, respectively.
The 6 Government High Schools (GHS) and 17 Aided High schools have a total enrolment of 4132 students, while the lone Government Higher Secondary School (GHSS) and the 4 Aided Higher Secondary Schools collectively has 1210 enrollments upto 15th June’2023, taking the over-all schools enrollments from Primary to HSS level to 7926 in Canacona taluka.
Stating Canacona taluka a shortage of teachers, Pereira informed a request is submitted to the government proposing posting of 20 teachers.
Pereira also informed that there are 73 regular teachers, and 19 T English Teacher’s(TET), while 8 Teachers are working Contract and 5 Para Teachers, besides Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan is deputing a PE teacher and Arts Teachers as two special teachers in the schools.
About 15 teachers retired in the past academic year alone even as ADEI has submitted a proposal to post 20 additional teachers in Canacona schools.
Speaking on School timings particularly for Primary Schools, Pereira informed the normal school timings are 7.45am to 1.30 pm of compulsorily of 5 & ½ hours duration.‘And though school hours should begin not later than 08.00 hrs (in the morning), however, it is upto respective schools who in consultation with parents can decide as to what time to hold the School Assembly’.
The taluka’s 13 aided high schools have a student strength of 3,333.
Incidentally, Canacona had about 80 government primary schools five years ago, and the number began to dwindle after Department of Education gave permissions for set –up a few private primary schools especially in the vicinity, where some of these GPS’s were forced to be shutdown.
When asked, ADEI informed that the well-maintained closed GPS buildings are made available by the government particularly to Health Services to operate as Well-Being Centres, or for other similar needs, wand wherever it being used for poll-duties, etc.