Minister for Education Botsa Satyanarayana claimed that the state government had not closed any school in the state. In the midst of a campaign in the media and protests by the students and parents in some parts of the state, the minister said that the schools are being integrated for better results and not closed.
There have been reports of the government closing the schools to maintain teacher-student ratio as per the New Education Policy 2020 issued by the Central government. The students are to be adjusted to the nearest school to maintain this ratio. Accordingly, the State government issued GO MS 117 on June 10, 2022 for rationalisation of student-teacher ratio.
The Minister said that the state government is considering various aspects including the proximity of the school and the accessibility to the school. If the students have to cross streams, rivulets and other water bodies to reach the school, the government would not shift the classes to maintain the student-teacher ratio, he added.
The Minister further said that the government had brought a new education system in accordance with the Central Government’s New Education Policy. According to this, the government had redesigned the schools into five categories, he said. While the existing system has three categories of Primary, Upper Primary and High Schools, the new system would have Satellite Foundation Schools, Foundation Schools, Foundation School Plus, Pre-High Schools, High Schools and High School Plus.
The junior colleges with intermediate courses are now integrated in the high school plus as 10+2 system, the minister added. Like the primary, upper primary and high schools, the new system would have these schools and that does not mean closing of any school, the Minister asserted.
However, the teachers, students and the parents in some parts of the state continue to hold protests against the proposal. While the parents and students are opposing the merger of classes in the new system, the teachers are opposing the move against the rationalisation as per the student-teacher ratio.