"We are assessing the status of Assembly constituency-wise government and government-aided schools. We will merge some of the nearby schools to rationalise teachers' postings and increase the number of students," education minister Thokchom Radhehsyam told the media on Friday.
Manipur has 4,500 government schools and more than 580 government-aided schools. The number of students in these schools is dwindling fast. Several schools do not even have a single student. The migration of students from government schools to private ones has been increasing.
According to the Annual Status of Education Survey, carried out by Pratham Education Foundation, an NGO, the percentage of enrolment in government schools in the state is below 24.
"The strength of a large number of schools is below 80. Only a few government schools have a strength of more than 100. Moreover, a large number of schools do not have a single student. So the plan is to merge schools without students of a particular area to a better school in the same area," school education director Th. Kirankumar said.
Radhehsyam said assessments in the valley schools had been completed and assessments in the hill districts would be completed soon.
"We will send the proposal of amalgamation of schools to the MLAs, school authorities and local organisations for their opinion. Once this exercise is complete, we will put the plan into action without any delay," he said.
Admitting that the education system in government schools has been neglected resulting in inadequate infrastructure and dismal teaching methods, Radheshyam said the current government had been working overtime to revive the government schools.
He said 25,000 untrained teachers would be trained as a part of the revamp plan.
Another plan is to implement the Right to Education Act in private schools by reserving 25 per cent of the seats for students belonging to poorer families.
Radheshyam said framing of rules under the act had been completed.
By: Khelen Thokchom