After a delay of nearly 15 years, the state government handed over 103 primary schools under Ahmedabad city taluka, Daskroi taluka and Gandhinagar district panchayat to Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) on Wednesday.
Despite the areas in which these schools fall being merged with the AMC in 2006, due to administrative and financial disputes, nearly 40,000 students of these 103 schools government primary schools were deprived of infrastructure and other facilities for all these years.
The areas in which these schools are in the centre of the city like Vastrapur, Memnagar, Ghatlodiya, Nehrunagar, Jodhpur, Vejalpur and Thaltej among others.
With the delimitation in 2006, talukas of Daskroi and Ahmedabad city of Ahmedabad district were merged with Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. Similarly, the same year, Chandkheda and Motera village panchayats of Gandhinagar district were merged into AMC limits.
Thus, while all other civic functioning was taken over by the AMC, 45 schools from Ahmedabad district panchayat, 50 schools from Daskroi taluka panchayat and eight of Gandhinagar district panchayat were yet to be taken under the jurisdiction of AMC until August 7 when the state government through a notification ordered the transfer of 103 schools to AMC.
Despite repeated orders, more than 1,000 teachers and 40,000 students from these 103 schools are still deprived of all the facilities that they are entitled to and students in other schools under the AMC school board get. The schools continued to be run under the district panchayat, creating confusion and adding to administrational issues.
The major hurdle that was impeding the transfer was dispute over the salary of the 1,000 teachers. For the schools under the district and taluka panchayat, the state government bears the teachers’ salary which now gets divided between the AMC and state government in 20:80 ratio.
“The AMC was demanding this salary component to be entirely borne by the state government. But finally it has agreed to bear the 20 per cent salary burden of the 1,000 teachers that comes out to be an additional annual expenditure of Rs 15-16 crore” a senior AMC official said.
Despite repeated announcements, while the authorities were dragging their feet in the implementation of their own orders, these schools have not been able to avail funds from the corporator’s grant for the development and repair of school infrastructure.
Additionally, the students have also been deprived of smart classrooms that the AMC school board had implemented a few years back.