Cuttack: The Orissa High Court on Tuesday quashed the State government notification to merge schools having less than 20 students with nearby schools, irrespective of distances.
The Court had earlier stayed the government decision to close over 11,000 schools having less than 20 students.
The Orissa High Court today issued an interim stay on the decision of the State government to close down 11,560 primary schools having less than 20 students and directed the government to take a decision in this regard within 15 days.
The directive had come in response to a PIL filed by the Odisha Abhibhabak Mahasangha against the government order for closure of the schools and their merger with the nearby primary schools.
In March 2020, the School and Mass Education Department had issued a notification stating that schools having enrollment of 20 or less would be consolidated with nearby schools in Scheduled, KBK and other areas.
Expressing serious concern over the low enrollment, the School and Mass Education department had earlier identified around 14,000 schools with 20 or less students and initiated process to merge with nearby schools in the State.
It had initiated process for closure of around 7,700 elementary and secondary schools in the first phase of which around, 900 schools have already been shut.
The government’s move had drawn flack from several quarters including guardians and parents’ bodies who had claimed that the decision would cause serious inconvenience for the students in communicating to the schools regularly.