The Kankaria Urdu School Number 2 and 5 in the Shah Alam area of the city has been closed down; and if the teaching staff are to be believed,in a rather abrupt manner.
The announcement has come at a time when the government has been celebrating Pravesh Utsav enrolment of new students in civic schools. The school board supervisor called up yesterday morning to tell us to close the school and send the children home, said a teacher.
At the receiving end are the 800 students and their parents,most of whom belong to the labour class. They are furious at this sudden action and wondering where to send their children now.
The motivating factor behind sending their wards to school was the mid-day meal. With that factor being no longer there,the parents are now a worried lot.
School board chairman Manubhai Raval justified the action saying the building was dilapidated and could collapse any day,so it was evacuated. But parents argue that if that was the case,the school board should have taken action while the vacations were on. Raval pleaded helplessness of the school board because the building owner does not permit any repairs unless a new tenancy contract is signed.
Social worker Habib Ahmed said the board is not doing anything about it as the new contract would involve hike of several times over the present rent. Ahmed plans to take out a rally of agitated parents on Monday to the school board office in Navrangpura.
I send my five-year-old daughter from Millatnagar. But now I hear that they will tell children to go to Kabadi Market Nagma Nagar school,which is nearly three kilometres from here. How can she cover the distance on foot? I work as a domestic help and my husband does casual job of whitewash. We cant afford an autorickshaw; we have no option but to drop her out of school, said a worried mother.
Habib Ahmed accused the school board of hiding behind technicalities.
Another domestic help,Razia,who lives in Chandola slums,is unwilling to send her six-year-old daughter,Azzu,to the new school. She may have to give up on her daughters study in these times of Kanya Kelavni rathyatras, Ahmed said.
Meanwhile,Raval said he will make all possible effort to lessen the burden by relocating the school to an open land in the nearby area if the children find it difficult to go the school they have been referred to.
Enrolment drive benefits over 16,000 city children
As many as 16,383 children were inducted in municipal corporation schools in Class I during the enrolment drive (Pravesh Utsav) that ended on June 26,said an official release issued on Sunday by municipal school board Chairman Manubhai Raval and administrative officer L D Desai.
Director General of Police S S Khandwawala,who had studied in Rakhial School Number 1,was also honoured during the drive,the release said. It added that 4,156 teachers were involved in the drive to cover all 431 AMC schools.
In all,168 dignitaries,including 20 IAS and IPS
officers and special guests,participated in the three day-drive. The novel initiative of night events elicited good public response,the release said,adding that over a period of time,these have led to a decline in the dropout rate from 11.10 per cent in 2006-07 to 4.39 per cent in 2009-10. The release said 2,150 street plays were performed to spread public awareness about the importance of educating children.
In another activity,school board staff and teachers,besides elected representatives,moved house to house and collected around 80,000 toys that were later distributed among the poor students in anganwadis. Donations in cash reached Rs 76,935,and in kind,totalled Rs 14,88,245.
Under the Vanche Gujarat campaign,5,300 books were distributed among children.