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Seven primary schools shut down in Udupi district

govtMangaluru: As many as five private aided Kannada medium schools and two government primary schools have been closed for lack of students in Udupi district for the present academic year.

The five aided schools are Ganapathi Aided Higher Primary School, Nalkuru, Little Flower Higher Primary School, Belman, Aided Secondary School, Mattukopla, Nityasahayamatha Aided Higher Primary School, Yellur, and UBMC Aided Higher Primary School, Santhur.

The two government primary schools that have been closed down are Government Lower Primary School, Kadthala, and Government Lower Primary School, Siddapur.

According to K. Seshashayana, Deputy Director of Public Instruction (DDPI), there were teachers in accordance with the number of students in aided schools. If teachers retired, there was no provision for appointment of new teachers in aided schools.

These schools did not get maintenance grants. This made running them tough, he said.

The two government lower primary schools are being closed because of migration of younger brothers and sisters studying in these schools with their elder brother and sisters to higher primary schools.

Yet another reason for the closure of these schools is parents’ inclination towards English-medium schools. Besides, the school buses of English-medium schools are now picking children even from villages.

But the problem is that once the number of students declined in the schools, the number of teachers appointed there also went down.

There are 27 government lower primary Kannada-medium schools in the district which have a strength of less than 10 students in the present academic year.

These schools having less than 10 students have one teacher and another guest teacher.

Yet another reason for schools closing down or having less than 10 students is the decline in population growth in the district.

But bucking the trend, there are schools, where the number of students increased in Class One such as in government schools in Thekkatte, Basrur and Koteshwar. “As many as 101 students have been admitted to Class One in Thekkatte,” Mr. Seshashayana said.

Again the seven primary schools, which have been closed for the present academic year, could be opened in the next two years, if there are five students desiring to join the schools there.

If there are no students for three years in a row, then they are closed down. Then, the documents of such schools are shifted to the neighbouring higher primary schools.