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Parents’ Body Alleges Mass Education Dept Plans To Close down 14,000 Govt Schools

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Abhibhabak Mahasangh, an organisation of parents across the state, has written to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik seeking the latter’s intervention over the alleged plans of the School and Mass Education Department to close down around 14,000 government-run schools in the state to benefit private schools.

In fact, the organisation has demanded the immediate removal of the School and Mass Education Minister who, they alleged, was out to finish the government schools in order to set grounds for opening private schools at their places, across the state.

“This undue favour to the private schools would not only deprive lakhs of poor students from getting access to schools, it would also mean putting additional burden on families who would be forced to enrol their children in those costly schools,” alleged Basudev Bhatta, president of the Mahasangh.

He claimed that a recent notice issued by the School and Mass Education Department for opening new private schools in the state was the first step towards closure of as many as 14,000 government schools in a phased manner.

“In August this year, the OSEPA (Odisha Schools Education Programme Authority) had issued a notice inviting application for opening of new schools. The notice is meant to close as many as 14,000 government-run schools for which the District Education Officers (DEOs) have already finished the official formalities,” Bhatta alleged.

“The private English medium schools are functioning in the vicinity of these 14,000 government-run schools. As a result, a majority of students from the government schools have already shifted to the private schools. The opening of the new schools would result in further low attendance in government schools which force them close down. We condemned the sinister move of the government”, he said while warning the government of a mass agitations if the notice was not withdrawn.

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