BANGALORE: The state government on Monday defended its action to merge schools with less than five and 10 students and submitted an affidavit before the High Court saying the decision would help students develop competitiveness.
The state filed this reply in connection with a public interest litigation filed by litterateurs and Jnanpith award winners G S Shivarudrappa, Girish Karnad, Chandrashekar Kambar and U R Ananthmurthy, seeking to quash the gazette notification to close Kannada schools across the state.
The state, while filing a reply said, “The decision to merge those schools with less than five and 10 students with bigger schools nearby would favour students and is aimed at developing competitiveness.”
While giving information on the strength, it said that 131 primary schools had zero strength, 551 had less than five students and 2,480 schools enrolled less than 10 students. Among higher primary schools, there were no students in 74 schools and there are less than 10 students in 380 schools.
The affidavit also said the state will merge these schools with those 3 km away and will provide Rs 300 a month to each student of schools that are being merged.
The government, which has already merged 370 Kannada schools having less than five children, prayed to the court to dismiss the PIL. The division bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramjit Sen and Justice B V Nagarathna adjourned the petition for further hearing.