Some schools have no students: member

The issue of schools without students featured in the general body meeting of the Udupi Taluk Panchayat here on Monday.

Katapady Shankar Poojary, member, said that some schools in Udupi taluk did not have any students and demanded to know what action had been taken by the Department of Public Instruction in this regard.

Block Education Officer D. Manjunathayya said that a government school each had been closed in Matadapalu and Karje villages for lack of students. The department had specified that any school with less than five students should be closed. An aided school in Bennekudru village was also not functioning. Since it was an aided school, its management had to decide on its closure. The Deputy Director of Public Instruction had ordered the closure of the Bennekudru school, he said.

Denying reports that the Urdu school in Udupi had been closed, he said some local members were supporting the school till last year. But this year, such support was not forthcoming and hence it had been temporarily closed. If requisite number of students applied for admission there, it would be revived, Mr. Manjunathayya said.

The Udyavar West School had only seven students. There were no admissions to first and third standards in that school.

Two teachers at the Kemendal school had sought voluntary retirement. There were 48 students in the school. There were no teachers in a school at Yellur, although it had 69 students. The department would soon appoint teachers to the Yellur school, he said.

Teachers from the closed schools would be appointed to schools having excess students. Even students of such schools would be accommodated in the nearby institutions, the BEO said.

When Veronica Carnelio, member, said that textbooks had not been distributed in schools, Mr. Manjunathayya said that except for classes nine and 10, textbooks for other classes had been distributed.

Umesh Naik, member, said that the grants to taluk panchayat constituencies should be increased.

The Rs. 1 lakh being given to them annually was not adequate as it had to be distributed to three gram panchayats, he said.

Diwakar Kundar, member, said that the cold storage at the morgue in the District Government Hospital was not functioning.

President of taluk panchayat Shyamala Sudkahar and MLA Raghupati Bhat were present.