School education set for complete makeover
Plans afoot for merger of 4,200 schools across the State, to check dropouts in 10 districts
BHUBANESWAR: With the State Government finalising modalities for merger of schools for system-wise transformation and quality learning, school education in Odisha is all set to go for a complete make-over.
As per the roadmap prepared for rationalisation of school education, around 4,200 schools will be merged with institutions located in the same campus or within a radius of 100 metres in the first phase before the next academic session. Schools listed for merger have enrolment of less than 20.
The decision for merger of schools was taken under the Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital (SATH) programme launched by NITI Aayog in three States, including Odisha.
Director of Elementary Education Chudamani Seth said earlier schools with student strength of less than 10 were closed, but now schools having less than 20 students will be merged with nearby schools.
“Tentatively we have found 4,200 schools which can be integrated with the next schools. If it is a primary school, it will be merged with Upper Primary and the latter will be clamped together with High School.
Work has already begun and we are planning to complete the merger process by March end,” he said.
It was found that more than one Government educational institution having different heads are functioning from one campus or adjacent campuses with independent identities and there was lack of coordination among these institutions while undertaking different activities like annual functions and sports meets.
The Director informed that along with the merger they would go for reduction of out of school children and dropouts in 10 identified districts including Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Rayagada, Balangir, Subarnapur, Kalahandi and Nuapada besides Gajapati and Kandhamal.
“The SATH team will conduct joint survey with the district action committees in these districts and identify drivers for the issues. Thereafter, initiatives will be taken to address those issues,” Seth added.
The School and Mass Education (SME) Department is, in fact, planning to merge around 21,300 schools by March 2020 as per the SATH guideline. Though Odisha has 25,477 Primary Schools and 2,554 Upper Primary Schools with student enrolment of less than 60, priority will be given for merger of schools located within the radius of one km.
The State has prepared a roadmap for conducting a detailed diagnostic exercise and design a customised school education system. The roadmap will be implemented through the State Project Monitoring Unit (PMU) which will track, monitor and suggest course correction. Apart from Odisha, SATH programme is being implemented in Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand.
Around 4,200 schools will be merged with institutions located in the same campus or within a radius of 100 metres in the first phase before the next academic session
The Dept also plans to reduce the number of out of school children and dropouts in 10 identified districts
The dists are Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Rayagada, Balangir, Subarnapur, Kalahandi and Nuapada besides Gajapati and Kandhamal