Odisha govt shuts 90 schools in Koraput with less than 10 students

Koraput: As many as 90 schools in the district have been shut down for an indefinite period for having less than 10 students in each of the institutions, informed Koraput District Education Officer (DEO) Pramod Kumar Munda on Friday.

Reportedly, only six students were enrolled at Balipadarguda Primary School in the district. As the number remained constant over the years, the school was merged with Ganjeipadar Primary School, some five kilometres away from Balipadarguda.

Following the merger, the boys were enrolled in Ganjeipadar Primary School and the rest three girls were shifted to a residential school at Jeypore, informed a teacher of Balipadarguda School, Jayram Suna.

“Balipadarguda is a small village in the hilly terrain where only 30 families reside. There are very less children in the village. As per norms, at least 10 students are required to run a school. As the school has less than 10 students, the government has sent notice for its closure. Nine schools in Koraput block have so far been shut down citing same reason,” said Suna.

The merging of schools, however, seems to have lost its ground as reports surfaced that the students are skipping schools over various reasons, one being the distance and mode of communication. To this, the DEO said that there are provisions from the government to ensure transportation facilities to the students.

“We received a data on 93 schools. After a review, 90 schools which had less than 10 students enrolled have been ordered to be closed with immediate effect. The students whose schools have been shut will be enrolled in nearby schools, plus there are facilities for transportation to support mobility,” said DEO Munda.