Withdraw decision to merge schools: Goa Forward
PANAJI: “The mismanagement in the education system was exposed in the recent CAG report for the year 2019-20. However, since then, the policy paralysis in the Goa Government led by Dr. Pramod Sawant has worsened,” the Goa Forward Party has said.
It said that in the last week, two irrational decisions have been taken.
“The first decision that this government has taken is regarding the merging of schools. Without any application of mind, the students, teachers and parents are being put through hardships just because the government is bankrupt and wants to shut down many government schools across Goa. The government plans to merge more than 200 schools in Goa. Such a big decision will have huge implications and should have been debated and deliberated by stakeholders of the Goan education system,” said Goa Forward vice-president Durgadas Kamat.
He said the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 provides access to elementary schools for children of the age group of 6-14 years within the defined area or neighbourhood limits. “Section 6 of the Act provides that ‘the appropriate government and local authorities shall establish, within the area or limits of a neighbourhood, a school, where it is not already established, within three years from the commencement of the Act,” he stated.
Kamat said teh decision to amalgamate schools goes against the spirit of the Act.
“The idea behind Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan was to take schools to the villages. Today, the government wants to take the students out of the villages. There will be severe fallout of this decision. The students will all of a sudden be forced to adapt to a strange environment in the new school. This will lead to inferiority complex, bullying and isolation of the students especially from poor families. This will lead to further dropouts in schools,” he said.
The second decision, he said, is to direct schools to adopt anganwadis.
“Not only do these two entities fall under two separate departments, but the objectives of the schools and entities are also distinct. The schools cannot be made to look after the Anganwadi. The latter has its own framework within the Women and Child Department to ensure that the objectives are met,” he stated.
By issuing the Circular to various Schools in Goa to adopt anganwadis, the government is implying that they are not capable of operating these anganwadis. It must also be noted that the schools are burdened with additional responsibilities under NEP, he said.
“The government must withdraw both these decisions and come up with a holistic policy in education after careful deliberation with all the education stakeholders,” he added.