Minister for Education Madhu Bangarappa favours the merger of schools that lack regular teaching staff and sufficient number of students, with nearby schools.
In a review meeting in Shivamogga on July 26, the Minister said he would not wish to close any school in Karnataka. However, with meagre number of students, it would be impossible to create the school-like environment necessary to boost learning.
“Schools where there are only a couple of students and one teacher, look like houses, not schools. One teacher has to teach all classes, making all students sit in one room. It would be good if such schools were shifted to the nearest school,” he said.
The Minister said the government is prepared to provide students with transportation facilities for children wherever necessary. “We are contemplating offering transportation facility wherever required. This will improve the quality of teaching as well,” he said.
There are 300 schools with no regular teachers, and around 3,000 schools with fewer than 10 students, and about 8,000 schools with fewer than 20 students.
“The shortage of teachers will be managed, as the issues concerning recruitment of 13,500 teachers will be resolved soon,” he said.
Former minister and Thirthahalli MLA Araga Jnanendra supported the Minister’s opinion. A few persons might oppose the shifting of schools, describing it as a move to shut Kannada schools. “But, those who criticise such a decision would hardly send their children to Kannada-medium schools,” he added.
Minister reviews rain impact in Shivamogga
The Minister reviewed the impact of heavy rains in Shivamogga district. Later, he told mediapersons, “There was less than normal rainfall in June. However, the monsoon gained vigour in July. There have been incidents of damage caused to property. As of now, there is no major damage. Our officers are prepared to face the situation.”
Bus facility from Shivamogga to villages
A few students of Kamala Nehru PU College in Shivamogga appealed to the Minister to improve bus facilities to Kote Ganguru, Virupina Koppa, Tyavarekoppa and Sidlipura villages from Shivamogga. Some of them have to walk about 10 km to reach the college. They claimed that many girl students gave up studies due to the lack of bus facilities. The Minister promised to look into the issue.
Protest by BJP against textbook revision
Earlier, members of the BJP’s youth wing, led by BJP Yuva Morcha district president Hari Krishna, staged a protest opposing the revision of school textbooks. They raised slogans against the Minister and also waved black flags. They accused the government of dropping lessons on freedom fighters. Police intervened and took the protesters into custody.
Reacting to the protest, the Minister said the BJP workers had not read the textbooks. “Let them read the books first. What we have done is good for their children too,” he said.