Govt mulls closure of 5500 primary schools

Bhubaneswar: As many as 5503 government-run primary schools in the State which have student strength of below 25, are facing closure threat from the State Government. 
 
“We are considering to close the (primary) schools which have below 25 strength. In this case, students of these schools will be accommodated in the nearby schools,” said mass education secretary Usha Padhee.
 
“We believe the initiative will help us focus to strengthen the teacher-student ratio in all the primary schools and infrastructure as well,” added she. 
 
According to data compiled by the mass education department, of the 51,300 primary schools in the State, 5503 have less than 25 students per school while 19,167 have within 26 to 60 students.
 
Similarly, the number of schools with student strength range of 61-100 and 101-140 are 11,208 and 6315, respectively, the data showed.
 
Alarmingly, there are only 1,162 primary schools where the strength is more than 300. 
 
In another significant development, the mass education department is also considering departmental proceedings against the Headmasters of Government high schools and stoppage of aid/grant to aided high schools and Block grant schools which have nil results in the matric examination.
 
An official letter issued in this regard stated that, the department will seek disciplinary proceedings against the Head Masters of Government high schools and stoppage of aid/grant to Aided High Schools and Block grant schools which have scored results below 50% of the state average. 
 
Notably, this year 35 Government high schools, five Block grant high schools and one Aided high school have scored nil results.