RAICHUR: The Primary and Secondary Education Department's move to merge government schools, which have less than 25 students, with nearby ones may affect Urdu schools in Raichur district.
The department is mulling over merging such government schools and If this policy comes into effect, identified schools will be merged with nearby government schools.
The policy, which is still at discussion level, if implemented, will have a negative effect on Urdu schools established in Raichur district. The number of admissions for Urdu is fast dwindling due to fading of the language in Raichur which was once ruled by Hyderabad Nizams. At present the language has been more or less restricted to homes of the single community.
According to the data provided by the Education Department, there are 115 Urdu schools -- 107 primary and 8 high schools. The total number of students in these schools as per the latest data is 6,997.
Among the 115 schools, 33 schools have less than 25 students. In these schools, students' admission has not crossed 25. This means these schools may face merger sooner or later with nearby Urdu schools, if the government goes ahead with the plan. Teachers in these schools will be transferred to the schools to which it are merged.
Merger or closure?
However, for merging government schools, there are many challenges. Firstly, the number of Urdu schools in this district is very less and such schools are located in a scattered manner. After the merger, the students and teachers have to travel a little far. This will lead to dropping out of many as schooling is not yet a priority in Raichur.
On the other hand, the government may think of closing down such schools and it has happened in the past with regard to many Urdu schools.
According to Syed Hafizullah, an educational activist, a school on Ashapur Road in Raichur was closed down recently and the teacher was posted to a school in Hatti at Lingasugur taluk nearly 100 km away. Merger is not an easy task as the government will merge Urdu schools with only Urdu medium. What is more worrisome, if one delves deep into the data - five Urdu primary schools saw zero admission this year. These schools have no student and teachers are sitting idle with no work but drawing salary. One school in Devadurga, two in Manvi taluk and two in Raichur taluk have identified as zero admission schools. The total number of teachers put together in these schools is 9. In Devadurga Urdu school, there are two teachers, while two in Manvi and two teachers at the school in Raichur taluk.