The government is planning to merge around 3,500 government schools which have rented buildings or have low number of students enrolled. The Education Department is making a blueprint for this entire exercise. Many schools which have been listed for merger have even more number of staff workers than students. These schools will be merged with other nearby schools. This process of merging from the next financial year is underway.
Official sources informed that the Department of Education is preparing a list of such schools in various districts. Admission of students of the proposed schools for closure will also be shifted to another school. Since there is a very low number of students enrolled so schools where these students will be shifted also have no major difficulty. Teachers can also be better utilised once this merger is over.
If the new school is found to be located at a much higher distance for children and staff, then the government can also provide transport facility. This arrangement is under consideration on basis of priority.
Schools have also been merged earlier too. Around 100 schools have been merged in Jammu alone. Schools which had only 10 to 15 students were merged. The buildings of old schools were provided to animal husbandry, agriculture and panchayats by the district administration. Now there are talks to merge all such schools across the state. Department’s 2015 data states that in around 3500 schools, there is either a very low number of students enrolled or these are running in a rented building. There are 1490 such schools in the Jammu division.
BK Singh, Administrative Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir School Education Department said that the process of merger of schools is going on at the departmental level, but nothing can be said on the exact number of schools now.