Published: 14th July 2022
Big relief to students enrolled in schools run by the Railways! Here's why
The letters by the Railway Board, dated September 2021 and October 2021, included the identification of schools to be handed over to the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan
In an order issued on July 14, the Railway Board withdrew its earlier orders to either close or merge its schools in the country with Kendriya Vidyalayas. The order issued by the Railway Board read the national transporter provides educational facilities in the form of railway schools within the constraint of available resources, "purely as a measure of staff welfare to cater to the needs of children of railway employees at such places where educational facilities provided by other agencies are inadequate," as stated in a report by PTI.
To recollect, the Railway Board issued letters on September 28, 2021, and October 25, 2021, stating instructions that an assessment be conducted and feasibility be explored of closure/merger of railway schools. This also included the identification of schools to be handed over to the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan. Further, it also highlighted that no promotions in Group-B/Senior Scale/Junior Administrative Grade be processed or recruitment be done where rationalisation of schools was being planned.
In its order, released on Thursday, the Board said, "The above instructions stand withdrawn with immediate effect and revival of railway schools having potential to provide basic education service may be done." Further, it added, "It has now been decided that the existing railway schools will continue to function under a revised scheme envisaged by the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education."
Additionally, the admissions to students for the current academic year are to be reopened and finalised at the earliest. Also, the promotion of staff is to be processed and the recruitment of teachers whenever requires may be undertaken to fill up the vacant posts expeditiously.
The close or merger of Railways schools was a result of the recommendations of former principal economic adviser Sanjeev Sanyal on the rationalisation of government bodies under the Ministry of Railways. The adviser in his report said, "the railways were running 94 schools, providing education to children of not only railway employees. And as of 2019, only 15,399 railway wards were enrolled in these schools which were less than half of other non-railway students who constituted 34,277," he added.
Additionally, 87 Kendriya Vidyalayas were supported by Railways where 33,212 railway wards and 55,386 other students were enrolled. Meanwhile, of the total 8 lakh children of railway employees in the 4-18 age group, less than 2 per cent were enrolled in the railway schools, as stated in a report by PTI.