Process of reopening schools, merged by previous BJP government, starts in Jharkhand

Notably, nearly 6500 schools were merged with the adjacent schools in 2016-17 for having a low enrollment of students and for being located beyond a distance of one km from another school.

Published: 27th February 2023 01:02 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th February 2023 01:02 PM   |  A+A-

(Left) Video grab of a teacher writing the questions on the classroom door and Hingula government high school  in Dharmasala block | Express

Image for representational purpose only. (Photo | Express)

Express News Service

RANCHI: The process for reopening schools, which were shut down by the previous BJP-led government has finally begun in Jharkhand, with district heads ordered to submit a report within a month.

The schools had been closed by the Raghubar Das-led administration in the name of "re-organisation" as per guidelines issued by the Niti Ayog in order to optimise their resources has finally been started in Jharkhand and the district heads have been asked to submit a report within a month.

According to officials in the education department, Deputy Commissioners (DCs) in each of the districts have been asked to identify those villages or hamlets where children are facing problems due to the merger of schools.

Notably, nearly 6500 schools were merged with the adjacent schools in 2016-17 for having a low enrollment of students and for being located beyond a distance of one km from another school.

Interestingly, owing to widespread protests, all 12 BJP Parliamentarians, including then Union Ministers of State – Jayant Sinha and Sudarshan Bhagat had opposed the move and had written a letter to Das requesting to hold the idea for at least a year. But, Das did not pay heed to their demands.

Later, immediately after coming into power, JMM had announced that it will reopen the schools which were shut down by the earlier government in the name of "re-organisation."

"The Deputy Commissioners have been asked to conduct a survey and identify those schools which were merged during 2016-17, but looking at their geographical conditions and requirement of children living in those villages and hamlets, it could be re-opened," said Jharkhand Education Project Council (JEPC)
Administrative Officer Jayant Kumar Mishra.

He, however, said that only those schools which need to be opened strategically without violating the Right to Education norms will be opened, he added.

According to the Administrative Officer, all the DCs have been sent a letter by JEPC Project Director Kiran Kumari Pasi to identify such schools in their districts and inform them within a month. They will identify such schools which were merged earlier in 2016-17 and are creating hurdles for the children residing in those areas to continue their education process, he said.

Incidentally, School Education and Literacy Minister Jagarnath Mahto has maintained that the merger of schools has largely hindered primary education of poor children. According to Mahto, "Those schools located in rural areas, which were merged with other schools due to which children are facing problems in reaching to their schools, will definitely be re-opened."


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