March 11, 2021 3:38:19 am
RESIDENTS OF Timba village in Bhavnagar protested against the closure of upper primary section in the government school in their village for the third consecutive day on Wednesday even as officials of the education department said they would hold a meeting with the protesting parents on Saturday to resolve the issue.
Parents in the Timba village in Umrala taluka of Bhavnagar district didn’t send their 11 children to school nor did they send them to any other school in the vicinity for the third consecutive day and continued their protest against the government decision to merge the upper primary section of Timba government primary school with the government school in neighbouring Dharuka village.
“Parents have decided not to send their children to any other school. Their demand is that the government should allow these
students to study in the school in our village itself,” Vallabh Makwana, sarpanch of Timba village said.
Due to outbreak of novel coronavirus (Covid-19), the state government had closed school in Gujarat in March last year while shifting teaching online. However, physical class-room teaching had started for upper primary sections, which comprise Standard VI, VII and VII from February 18 onwards. In between, the government merged upper primary sections of those schools which had less than 20 students enrolled with other government schools located in three-kilometre radius in November-December. In Bhavnagar district, there are 931 government primary schools and out of them upper primary sections of 56 schools, including the one in Timba, have been merged with other schools due to not having sufficient enrollments, government offices said.
However, 300 residents of Timba village are protesting against the merger of upper primary section of their school with Dharuka, saying of the 11 students, 10 are girl students whom they would not like to send to other village for education is road leading to Dharuka is deserted and also gets flooded during monsoon.
Kishor Miyani, the district primary education officer (DPEO) of Bhavnagar, meanwhile, held a meeting with the Umrala taluka primary education officer (TPEO) on Wednesday to discuss the matter and said that he would go to Timba on Saturday. “I shall go to Timba on Saturday and meet parents and leaders to resolve the issue. We spoke with some leaders from that area on Wednesday and they have assured that the matter will be resolved amicably. The point we are inviting the residents of Timba to appreciate is that merger of upper primary section of Timba is not an isolated decision. Schools have been merged across the state. There are 138 students in upper primary section in Dharuka and qualified teachers there. We shall provide transportation to Timba students,” Miyani told The Indian Express.
The sarpanch had on Tuesday stated that parents in Timba are requesting the state government to allow the two teachers in lower primary to teach the upper primary students also.
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