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Schools with less than 30 students in each class may be merged

The Puducherry government is mulling merging of government schools which had less than 30 students in each class and has sought the opinion of the public in this regard.

Addressing the media on Saturday, Education Minister R. Kamalakannan called upon the public to express their opinion on the issue.

Stating that the government planned to keep the student-teacher ratio at 30:1, the Minister said it had identified nearly 50 government schools which had less than 30 students in a class.

“The government is spending at least ₹2.5 lakh to ₹3.5 lakh a month on the salaries of teachers in these schools.

“These teachers could be posted in other schools ,” he said.

Against the backdrop of vacancies notified for the post of PST (Primary School Teachers) and TGT (Trained Graduate Teachers), the government is planning to transfer these teachers to fill the vacancies.

“We could move the teachers to the posts of the same rank. If the schools within 2 to 4 km are merged, we can introduce vans to pick up and drop the children. Before the decision is taken, we want to elicit people’s opinion on this,” Mr. Kamalakannan said.

In order to improve the teaching standards, academic audit would be conducted.

“A team from the Education Department will make surprise visits to the school to check the teaching methods and performance of students,” he said.

Parents’ role

He added that parents should get actively involved.

“The teachers’ efforts to mould the students will fructify only when they work with the parents. Parents should know what they are expected to do. They should ensure that the children reach school on time, wear clean uniform and ensure that they do their home work. We have asked the schools to hold meetings with the parents at least thrice a year,” the Minister said.

“We have met 4,000 teachers in Puducherry to collate their opinion to create a better environment for teaching,” he added.

Referring to the school visits taken up by Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy and Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi, he said that efforts had been made to train the children in language at the primary school level.

Referring to Ms. Bedi’s remarks on the performance of children in government schools, he said if the governments in the past had made effort to improve the education system, then the performance of Class 12 students would have been good. “We have no difference of opinion on improving quality of students to face the competitive world. But if anybody finds fault, they could send a note instead of announcing it,” he said.