341 state-run primary schools in Gujarat functioning with single classroom: Govt

Gujarat education minister said demolition of dilapidated classrooms, sparse attendance of students, and non-availability of land are some of the reasons.

Gujarat schools running with single classroom, Govt told Assembly. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)Gujarat schools running with single classroom, Govt told Assembly. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Press Trust of India | February 20, 2024 | 10:38 PM IST

GANDHINAGAR: A total of 341 state-run primary schools in Gujarat functioned with single classrooms while more than 1,400 posts of administrative officers in the Education Department were lying vacant as of December 2023, the government told the legislative assembly on Tuesday. These facts were revealed in a written reply given by Education Minister Kuber Dindor to a query raised by Congress MLA Kirit Patel during Question Hour of the ongoing Budget session.

Demolition of dilapidated classrooms in recent times, sparse attendance of students, and non-availability of land to construct new classrooms are some of the reasons mentioned by the minister. He assured the House that new classrooms in these schools will be built in phases "as soon as possible".

Responding to another query raised by MLA Patel about vacant posts of class-1 and class-2 officers of the Gujarat Education Service cadre, Dindor said 781 posts were filled while 1,459 posts were lying vacant as of December 31, 2023. The minister said these vacant posts will be filled at the earliest through promotions and direct recruitment. During a discussion on the demands for grants, Patel alleged that the quality of education in Gujarat under the ruling BJP is deteriorating rapidly and the state stands nowhere in comparison to other states.

"The BJP government is good at only doing publicity and projecting Gujarat as a model state while the reality is different. As per the Performance Grading Index Report of 2023, nearly 25 per cent of children studying in primary schools in Gujarat can't even read Gujarati while 47.20 per cent can't read English. Gujarat was not in the top five states which performed well in terms of education," claimed Patel.

Dindor said more than 65,000 smart classrooms have been built by the state government so far and another 43,000 are under construction. "Under the Mission Schools of Excellence project, we have constructed 15,000 classrooms in 2023-24 while construction for another 15,000 classrooms is under progress. More than 5,000 computer labs have been constructed and work is on for creating 15,000 more such labs in schools," he said.

The minister also said that the dropout ratio in primary schools fell from 37.22 per cent to 2.68 per cent in 2022-23 due to the efforts undertaken by the government. "To ensure quality education in schools, a total of 22,349 Vidya Sahayak and Gyan Sahayak (contractual teachers) have been appointed in the year 2023-24. For the year 2024-25, more than Rs 2,785 crore has been allocated for the upgradation of primary schools under the Mission Schools of Excellence," he added.

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