The Gujarat government has decided to merge five government secondary and higher secondary schools in Gandhinagar into two for “operational reasons” before handing over these to a trust for 30 years for a token amount of Re 1 in order to improve the standard of education. The secondary school at Palaj, also to be now run by the trust, would remain separate.
The decision to hand over these schools to an educational trust was taken after the six institutions over the past three years recorded the lowest overall pass percentage of 3 and 24 in Class X and Class XII, respectively. Sources in the Gujarat education department said that if this move brings desired results, it would consider implementing a similar process across the state to provide a better education to children.
As per the meetings between the education department and the trust, Sarva Vidyalaya Kelavani Mandal in Kadi near Gandhinagar, the five government schools — having nearly 1,000 students — would be merged into two, depending on the strength of each school and the distance for students to commute.
However, the department is yet to take a decision on how the infrastructure of the merged schools will be utilised.
The sources said the trust wanted to merge all the schools into one at Sector 16, but finally agreed for three locations. The schools to be handed over to trust are: Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Secondary and Higher Secondary School, Sector 7, Swami Vivekanand Vidyavihar Secondary and Higher Secondary School, Sector 12; Mahatma Gandhi Vidyamandir Secondary and Higher Secondary School, Sector 16, Aryabhatt Secondary School, Sector 22 and Maharana Pratap Vidyamandir Secondary and Higher Secondary School, Sector 27; and Vikram Sarabhai Secondary School, Palaj (Gandhinagar). The school at Sector 7 has the highest number of students (368), while the Palaj school has the lowest (73).
“The only reason for merging these schools is operational factors. Though the distance between the schools to be merged is not more than 2 kilometre, the trust is willing to provide free transportation facility for students and the staff at existing schools in Sector 7, 22 and 27,” said commissioner schools Mukesh Kumar.
As per the agreement, the trust cannot use the school buildings and infrastructure in other than education activities and if these school buildings are already on rent, the same can be claimed by the trust as grant from the department. The education department, however, is yet to decide on the utility of the school buildings that would be merged.
While no fee will be taken from the students, the teaching and non-teaching staff will also to be retained.
For the vacant posts in schools, the surplus teachers would be adjusted and in case there are no surplus teachers with the education department, a no-objection certificate (NoC) will be obtained from the department by the trust for direct appointment.
To be merged
# At Sector 12: Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Secondary and Higher Secondary School, Sector 7 and Swami Vivekanand Vidyavihar Secondary and Higher Secondary School, Sector 12. Expected number of students — 524
# At Sector 16: Mahatma Gandhi Vidyamandir Secondary and Higher Secondary School, Sector 16 and Aryabhatt Secondary School, Sector 22 and Maharana Pratap Vidyamandir Secondary and Higher Secondary School, Sector 27. Expected number of students – 475
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