The Kerala School Teachers Association (KSTA) has criticised the UDF government’s alleged move to give recognition to hundreds of unrecognised schools instead of initiating steps to close them down.

The office-bearers of the association, which is staging state-wide protests and dharna in front of the office of the Deputy Director of Education (DDE) in different districts on Saturday said that such a move would prove detrimental to the already neglected public education system in the State.

“The government is going ahead with the move when over 4,500 government schools were already facing the threat of being closed down for declining number of students,” said K.K. Raghunathan, district secretary of the association.

Instead of conducting a scientific study or survey to understand the need for starting new schools the government was making clandestine move to giving recognition to hundreds of schools including those in the CBSE sector. According to Mr. Raghunathan, there are around 52 lakh seats in as many as 12,600 government schools in the State while only around 45 lakh seats were currently occupied.

“The present move to give recognition for new unaided schools indiscriminately would only abet commercialisation in education,” he said.

The organisation district president P.P. Raghunathan said that the government schools in the State were already facing a whole lot of existential problems because of the regressive policies of the government. “Many of the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamik Abhiyan (RMSA) projects are already in a mess with no one to take care of it,” said Mr. Raghunathan.

The backtracking of the State government from the responsibilities of the mid-day meal programme pushing the entire scheme into a crisis is another major issue taken up by the association. “The entire mid-day meal scheme is struggling to exist with only a paltry sum being sanctioned by the government,” he said.

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