PUNE: Over 1,000 primary schools in Pune
district may have to stop operating following the state education
department's decision to shut down primary schools that have less than 20
students in attendance.
According to the education department, these schools do not comply with
the rules of the Right to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act and,
therefore, should be shut down for poor low attendance. If that happens,
then the department will be burdened with a huge responsibility to
transfer over 2,000 teachers currently employed with these primary
As per the 2012-13 district information system for education (DISE) data,
a total of 322 schools in the district are operating with less than 10
students in attendance and the strength of students in as many as 757
schools is between 11 and 20.
Mahavir Mane, director of state primary education department, said, "As
per the RTE Act, for every 30 students there should be one teacher.
However, schools with less than 20 students in attendance will have to be
shut down. At present, we are collecting information about such schools.
We might soon take a decision." He added that a meeting of the officials
of the education department will be held soon in order to discuss the
placement of the surplus teachers.
Meanwhile, the Primary Teachers' Association in the district has objected
to the state government's decision to shut down these schools as the
teachers would have nowhere to go. Dattatray Walunj, leader of the
association, said, "We will launch a state-wide protest if the state
government shuts down these schools. We have already written to the
education department regarding the same. We will wait for their response
Mane said students of these primary schools will be accommodated in the