144 villages across state to soon get secondary schoolshttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/144-villages-across-state-to-soon-get-secondary-schools/

144 villages across state to soon get secondary schools

Deadline for proposals seeking to open schools ended on Monday.

As many as 144 villages across the state may soon have secondary schools in their respective areas as the deadline for proposals from private managements seeking to open new schools ended on Monday. The education department had on March 14 invited proposals from private managements to open secondary schools in the state.

As per Master Plan for education,approved by the Cabinet last year,various villages across the state were identified for setting up schools after a survey was conducted using geographical information system (GIS).

“We have received 500 proposals from various private managements. These proposals will be screened and selected as per the requirement. Once the proposal is approved,the managements will be required to construct the schools withing 18 months as per the Right to Education (RTE) Act norms,” said a top official from the secondary education department.

After a master plan for sanctioning new schools was undertaken in 2009,the mapping of existing schools using geographical information system (GIS) was done. The areas or villages where there were no schools in the radius of one,three and five km were identified.

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As per the RTE Act,a primary school should be set up within the radius of one kilometre,a secondary school within three kilometres and a higher secondary school with in every five kilometres.

“As per the master plan,we had asked the district administration to open primary and higher primary schools wherever required. The schools were set up by Zilla Parishad in all the required places. As far as primary schools are concerned,master plan targets have been fulfilled,” said Mahavir Mane,officiating director,Primary Education.

However,education activist Matin Mujawar said that claims by education department on meeting master plan targets for primary schools are not true. “There are still many places in the state that do not have primary schools. Even if the schools are opened,they are not as per RTE norms. Hence,the education officer’s claims that there are schools within every kilometer are false,” said Mujawar.