Activists warn authorities against closing schools with fewer than 20 children | Kolhapur News
In 2018, then Minister of Education Vinod Tawade decided to close schools with less than 20 students. Kolhapur district alone has more than 50 schools, mostly in the remote and hilly parts of the districts like Chandgad, Ajara and Gadhinglaj. Parents of these students live in forest areas and find schools in remote hamlets convenient and safe for their children. Campaigners say the government is trying to raise the issue even after it was suspended once.
Ramesh More, an activist, said: “There was no need for the education department to take up this issue. We had taken to the streets in 2018 and forced the then government to withdraw the flyer. We met with education authorities on Tuesday and told them that if the government intended to close schools, we had no choice but to protest against them.
The government had explained that these schools were difficult to manage due to their small enrollment and was considering consolidating them into one.
“The government wants to cut spending. They do not see education as an essential service to be provided to students. Most students learn in public schools because they are cheaper than private schools,” More said.