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Soren government to undo BJP work, plans to re-open ‘merged’ schools

RANCHI: Schools, which were merged in the last five years by BJP-led Raghubar Das Government, will soon be re-opened by the newly-elected Hemant Soren government.

School Education and Literacy Minister Jagarnath Mahto said that the process for the same will be started soon after a review. Notably, more than 6,000 primary and middle schools so far have been merged in the past two academic sessions – around 1,400 in 2016-7 and around 4,600 in 2017-18.

Officials claimed the merger was a part of a process of “re-organisation” of schools being done as per the guidelines issued by the Niti Ayog in order to optimise the resources in schools. However, people were unhappy and had been protesting against the move.

There was so much resentment among the people against this move that all the 12 BJP Lok Sabha MPs of Jharkhand, including two the then Union ministers of state – Jayant Sinha and Sudarshan Bhagat – had jointly written to the chief minister, requesting to keep the move in abeyance at least for a year.

As they feared that the move maydamage party’s image as well as their electoral prospects.

“Those schools which are located in remote distant areas which were merged with other schools due to which children have to face problem in reaching to their schools, will definitely be re-opened,” said the newly elected School Education and Literacy Minister Jagarnath Mahto.

Merger of schools has largely hindered primary education of poor children, he added. Ex-Minister for School Education and Literacy Neera Yadav, however, said that merger was done to such schools which had very few students, so that quality of education could be maintained.