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HC quashes Odisha govt order on closure, merger of schools – Times of India

CUTTAK: The Orissa High Court on Tuesday quashed a notification of the School and Mass Education division to close down almost 8,000 elementary and first schools having poor pupil power and merge them with some close by schools having greater power and good infrastructure. Adjudicating over almost 170 writ petitions having related prayer, Justice Dr B R Sarangi quashed the March 11, 2020 notification and subsequent workplace memorandum and corrigendum of the division and directed the state authorities to revive again the place of the merged schools as earlier than and supply crucial infrastructure for the sleek working of the stated schools.

The division had began merger of at the least 7,772 schools of whom 1,724 schools had lower than 25 college students and 6,048 schools had lower than 20 college students. The opposition political events, nonetheless, had alleged that the state authorities has a plan to shut over 14,000 schools on the plea of poor enrolment and merge some of these closed schools with that of some close by schools.

School and Mass Education minister Samir Ranjan Dash had knowledgeable the state Assembly final yr that every affected pupil within the merger of schools can be offered a one-time monetary help of Rs 3,000 and one other Rs 600 monthly in the direction of escort allowance in accordance with the availability of Right to Education Act.

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The authorities transfer to merge schools, nonetheless, drew robust protests from mother and father’ affiliation members in addition to opposition political events who claimed that closure and merger of schools would trigger so much of inconvenience to the scholars as they’d require to journey lengthy distances to achieve their new schools.

Several mother and father’ associations approached the Orissa High Court difficult the state authorities order.

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