Updated: May 5, 2020 9:42:55 pm
Tripura government has started a statewide survey to identify schools where less students are enrolled in science and commerce streams at the higher secondary level. The government is contemplating withdrawing these streams in schools where such low enrollment is identified.
Speaking to reporters, Education Minister Ratan Lal Nath said, “There are many schools which have less students in science stream compared to teachers serving there. We have asked District Education Officers (DEO) to conduct a survey and find out which schools have less students in science steam, discuss the issue with School Managing Committees (SMC) and local elected public representatives to find out prospects of shifting such students to nearby schools”. Similar policy would be applied to commerce stream as well, he added.
Nath’s comments come after a letter from West Tripura DEO Rupan Roy went viral on social media. The letter read, “…..In accordance to the decision taken by the higher authority, schools which are running with subjects/ streams in HS ( +2 stage) in class XI & XII having less/ poor number of students as required for affiliation to TBSE is / are to be withdrawn/ canceled,”
Meanwhile, former chief minister Manik Sarkar criticised the government’s move in an interview with a local channel yesterday, saying his government started schools and streams without discriminating on the number of students. He claimed these streams were opened in far-flung villages because the Left government wanted to grant access of science education to tribal children even in distant hamlets.
On the issue, Ratan Nath defended his government’s stand saying the erstwhile Left Front government had closed 28 schools due to zero enrollment. He also said the incumbent BJP-led government has shut down only 11. He also said Left Front government under Manik Sarkar decided in 2006 that any school must have a minimum of 10 students in plains and 5 students in hill areas.
The minister has clarified that the state government has not taken any decision on the issue yet. However, he said no new admissions would be allowed in science or commerce streams in the eleventh standard in such schools.
“We shall surely announce the number of schools found having less students enrolled in science and commerce streams after the survey report arrives,” he said.
He also informed that a few MLAs have expressed interest in shifting science and commerce stream from schools to such low enrollment to nearby schools. Concerned subject teachers would also be transferred among these schools to keep up with the student requirement.
Tripura currently has 4,398 government and government-aided schools apart from 335 private schools. Nearly 5 lakh students study in these schools across the state. A recent report has found that state government spends Rs. 2,138 for educating every student in a year in the primary level and Rs. 7,600 for every student in the elementary level.
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