Campaign: Protest the Closure of 2959 Government Schools in Karnataka

Date: 
June 9, 2016

The crisis in the government school system has only been exacerbated by the implementation of the Right to Education (RTE), 2009. Schools are being rapidly being merged/ closed down across the country and their considerable physical assets are either being transferred to other govt., departments, or to private/ religious agencies. The entire state-funded system is being dismantled at great speed and this constitutes a huge threat to the millions of India's children who have to depend on government schools if they are ever to get the opportunity to be educated. 
 
Instead of reforming, strengthening the state-run schools to provide universal free and compulsory schooling, the central and state governments are only focusing on a minority of special schools and allowing the rest to simply collapse.

The list of email ids is mentioned below as is a detailed explanation.

Chief Minister of Karnataka – [email protected] / [email protected]
Education Minister – [email protected]
Principal Secretary - Primary and Secondary Education – [email protected]
Commissioner of Public Instruction - [email protected]
State Project Director SSA – [email protected]
DPI Primary – [email protected]

This is to keep you informed that despite our day to day intensive struggle to save, strengthen and transform public schools into genuine neighbourhood common schools, with heavy heart and pain I have to share that the State Government of Karnataka is preparing the ground to close 2958 schools in the current academic year in the pretext of less than 10 children in the school. Another 6983 schools are in the pipeline for the next year.
 
Table-1 Children wise data of Schools in Karnataka
Number of Children Number of Schools Number of Teachers Academic Year
0-5 657 1257 2016-17
6-10 2301 4581 2016-17
11-20 6893 15265 2017-18
21-30 5460 13611 2018-19
31-50 6859 22194 2019-20
Total no schools estimated to be closed by 2019-20
22170
Total number of access teachers to be estimated by 2019-20
56908
51-75 5382 22282 2020-21
76-100 3549 17631 2021-22
101-150 4805 29192 2022-23
151-200 2922 21444 2023-24
201-500 4936 49304 2024-25
  43764 196761  
 
In the first phase, based on the circular issued by the Director, Primary Education No.C3(7) pra.shi.he.hu.stha 01/2015/16 dated 21.05 2016,  the department is closing down/merging 791 schools in seven educational districts including the constituencies of the Chief Minister and Education Minister. The details of schools where the number of children is 10 and below is given in the table below.
 
 
Table-2: Details of number of schools to be closed in the first phase
Serial No Name of the District Number of schools where children strength is 10 and below
1 Belagavi 63
2 Bidar 56
3 Kodagu 39
4 Mandya 191
5 Mysore 98 (Chief Minister’s Constituency)
6 Ramanagra 177
7 Shimogga 167 (Education Minister’s Constituency)
Total 791
Source: Circular issued by the Director Primary Education No.c3(7) pra.shi.he.hu. stha 01/2015-16 dated 21.05 2016, 

Further, the circular (No.C3(7) pra.shi.he.hu. stha 01/2015-16 dated 21.05 2016) has given clear guidelines to DDPIs as follows:
1.      All schools where the strength of the children is below 10 should be merged with the schools where the strength of the children is more than 31 within 01 kilometre in a nearby government or government aided or under RTE seat in unaided schools. If it is not possible, shift them to nearby government school and provide the information for annual expenditure for transportation.
2.     Further, the schools where the strength of the children is more than 10 and below 30, two teachers for LPS and 4 teachers for HPS is to be provided as per rule and there is a special rule for minority schools. While following the norms, if more than one teacher is working in these schools, treat and identify every second teacher and above as access teachers and re-depute them to the needy schools and submit proposal for appointment of guest teachers in all main schools for the vacant posts.
3.      Similarly, identify excess teachers in all other schools where the strength of children exceeds 30 and use the identified teachers as a resource to the optimal level.
Further, in continuation of this process another order  no C3(7) pra.shi.he.hu. stha 01/2015-16 dated 1.6.2016 was issued to initiate the closure in the second phase . In the second phase, the department is closing down/merging 2168 schools in twenty seven educational districts. The details of schools where the number of children is 10 and below is given in the table below.
Table-2: Details of number of schools to be closed in the second phase
Serial No Name of the District Number of schools where children strength is 10 and below
1 Bangalore North 19
2 Bangalore South 42
3 Bangalore Rural 146
4 Bagalakote 10
5 Chikkodi 64
6 Bellary 14
7 Bijapura 50
8 Chamarajanagara 47
9 Chikkamagalore 203
10 Chikkaballapura 160
11 Chitradurga 80
12 Dakshina Kannada 25
13 Davanagere 53
14 Dharawada 09
15 Gadaga 02
16 Yadagiri 06
17 Gulbaraga 50
18 Hasana 320
19 Haveri 17
20 Kolara 199
21 Koppala 12
22 Raichur 25
23 Madhugiri 112
24 Tumakuru 206
25 Udupi 25
26 Uttara Kannada 116
27 Sirasi 156
Total 2168
Source: Circular issued by the Director Primary Education No.c3(7) pra.shi.he.hu. stha 01/2015-16 dated 1.6 2016, 
 
It is disappointing and disgusting that no one in the department is giving a serious thought as to why the strength of children is declining in public schools and what needs to be done to attract children and parents towards state funded schools. In my opinion, if we go with the same speed we may close nearly 22,170 schools by the academic year 2019-20.
The SDMC Forum has initiated an intensive protest against this. The state is doing this in a settled way without disclosing the information to public. Many a times it is very difficult to access the information from the state.

However, some good and honest officers in the department are revealing this to us and requesting to stall the process. We are taking this up in a big way.

In order to build pressure, may I request you to send emails or letters and post cards to Chief Minister, Education Minister, Principal Secretary, Commissioner for Public Instruction, SPD-SSA and Director for Primary Education and mark BCC to me? Let us fight this together. The email-ids of CM, EM and concerned officers are given below for your ready reference: