There are 27 schools in Maharashtra with zero students. The state government has still for the last several decades maintained two teachers per school, with the education department paying them salaries.
The education ministry, which has taken a policy decision to extend financial aid to the unaided schools across Maharashtra, is now working out ways to curtail the wasteful expenditure that has not served much purpose in almost 12,646 schools housing between zero and 1,500 students.
Revealing the statistics, Education Minister Vinod Tawde said there were currently 75 schools with just one student each, 214 schools with just two students each, 253 schools with just three students each, and 311 schools with just four students each.
Across the state, there are 561 schools with eight students each, 581 with nine students each, 788 schools with 10 students each, 1,003 schools with 11 students each, 888 with 12 each, 850 with 13 each, 808 with 14 each, 846 with 15 each, 834 with 16 each, 745 with 17 each, 693 with 18 each, 549 with 19 each and 1,214 schools with 20 students each. The total number of schools with less than 1,500 students is 12,646.
Tawde said, “It is understandable if the number of students is in single digit in some hilly terrain. But our report shows it is not the case. Yet, for every hamlet and villages, where schools are functioning with students ranging from zero to 20, two teachers are being paid the salary.” The minister indicated that the government would have to find a way if some could be clubbed together or relocated to ensure better use of manpower and logistics.