Baripada: Even though the state government has been introducing various schemes to motivate the children of Odisha to continue school education, Mayurbhanj district administration has failed to achieve desired results.
Forced by poor enrolment, School and Mass Education Department of Odisha Government has ordered to shut down 1,106 schools in the district.
Sources said, there are total 4,025 primary, upper primary and high schools in the district. A total of 3,19,495 students study in these schools and as many as 15,496 teachers work there.
According to School and Mass Education (S&ME) department’s letter number (5465)- 486 and 448, primary schools with less than 20 and 25 students and 172 upper primary schools due to low attendance will have been shut down in Mayurbhanj district.
The S&ME department also instructed the district administration to achieve good environment, good examination results, to increase the numbers of students in the schools, good infrastructure and e-shiksha.
The Government is spending crores of rupees under mid-day meal, free uniform, free textbooks and other schemes to encourage students to join Government-run and aided schools. However, rising cases of schools facing closure due to poor enrolment has raised questions on the effectiveness of the schemes and programmes.
According to a guideline by S&ME department, there should be one teacher in the school for every 25 students. In Mayurbhanj district, there are 4,848 extra teachers for total number of students in government schools.
If the trend continues, there will be no need for fresh appointment of teachers in the government schools of the district. Many parents from the district, meanwhile, said that the government-run schools are lagging far behind in providing quality education to the students. As a result, enrolment of students in private schools is increasing day by day.
Parents said when children in rural areas walk to school with the expectation of quality education they may encounter a different scenario. Either they drop out due to family pressures or lag behind private school-educated students.
The rural parents who want to give their children quality education and teach their children necessary skills for an ever-changing world, they are choosing private school education in urban areas.
Even though the private schools are expensive, parents prefer them as they hold out the hope of bright future for children. Besides, while the pass percentage in government high schools in matriculation examination has been declining, the private schools’ performance is better.