Published: 04th October 2022
Why is Karnataka gov't shutting down 22 Moulana Azad schools? What do students, educationists have to say?
Speaking to TNIE, UNICEF Education Specialist Sheshagiri KM Rao said that the students should be given alternatives
The decision to shut down 22 Moulana Azad model schools across the state has drawn flak from students, educationists, organisations and citizens, stated a report in The New Indian Express.
The schools, which were started for providing better quality of education compared to the madrasas, suffered from a lack of funds, infrastructure, textbooks and uniforms. The closure has also prompted remarks that it is an attempt to 'saffronise' education.
“The decision to close these schools is an indication of saffronisation of education in Karnataka. The decision will not only lead to learning gaps but will compel students to attend expensive private schools,” Sachin Kumar, member of the convening body of the All India Students’ Association, told TNIE and alleged that the government favours the elites more than the working class.
AIDSO State Secretary, Ajay Kamath, said, “More than 100 to 150 students who are poor and belong to the minority communities are studying in these schools. Therefore, the decision is condemnable. The government's decision to close 13,800 government schools for the merger has already sparked a huge pushback from the opposition.”
Speaking to TNIE, UNICEF Education Specialist Sheshagiri KM Rao said that students should be given alternatives. “The government’s claim that it cannot support these schools can be legally challenged, especially for singling out Moulana Azad schools. Where will these children go? If the government cannot fund these schools, how will they fund 30 engineering colleges,” he told TNIE. He pointed out that the decision could tantamount to a serious violation of children’s Right to Education.