The Meghalaya government is planning to either shut schools or withdraw funds to those having enrolments below 10 and use that sum for development of other educational institutes, a senior state minister said on Thursday.
State Education Minister Lakmen Rymbui told PTI that 221 lower and upper primary schools in the state have a single-digit enrolment of students. "The education department will soon place a proposal before the state Cabinet for either closing down or withdrawing grant-in-aid to these schools," he said. The minister said the state government incurs Rs 20 crore annual expenditure on these schools, which could be used for the development of other educational institutes. He, however, said the decision regarding the closure of schools or withdrawal of aid to them will be taken as per the guidelines of the Right to Education (RTE) Act and no student will be deprived.
"Those schools that don't have any educational institute in the vicinity will continue functioning even if they have 5 or 10 students. No student will be deprived of education," the Minister said. Rymbui said teachers of the schools that would be shut would be redeployed in other educational institutes that have a shortage of educators. "One of the reasons for less enrolment of students is the presence of a large number of schools in an area," he said.