Closed owing to poor strength, they have now succeeded in attracting students
The Department of Public Instruction, with the cooperation of village residents, has reopened four schools that were closed either owing to lack of admissions or poor student strength in Channarayapatna taluk.
The lower primary schools in Narihalli, Kaval Hosur, D. Honnenahalli and Dodderi Kaval in the taluk, which were closed, beginning in 2006-07, reopened on Friday. Teachers held a programme to welcome students.
Block Education Officer H.K. Pandu said, “The schools were closed owing to lack of admissions or because the student strength was less than five.”
On Friday, the total strength in these schools was between 15 and 20.
“Admissions were low because parents preferred private institutions to government schools. But now they are changing their opinion about government schools. The strength improved because we made efforts to convince them about the benefits of admitting their children to government schools. They responded positively and we are seeing the results now,” Mr. Pandu said.
The officer said he personally visited houses in D. Honnenahalli in February this year and appealed to parents to admit their children to government schools. His subordinates made similar efforts.
“In D. Honnenahalli, 32 children were going to private schools. I appealed to them to send children to government schools. The parents were also fed up with demands for donation and high tuition fee in private schools,” he said.
As the department assured the parents that all facilities would be provided such as good teachers and infrastructure, they admitted their children to the government schools.
School buildings and minimum facilities were already in place. The department deputed teachers from nearby schools.
The midday meal scheme also began on Friday.
“We had stoves in the schools. We used them and borrowed foodgrains from neighbouring schools as a temporary measure. The schools will soon get fresh allotment of foodgrains,” Mr. Pandu said.
The BEO is hopeful of reopening three more schools in the taluk in a few days.
G.R. Basavaraj, Deputy Director of Public Instruction, told The Hindu that officers of the department had been making efforts to reopen schools. It was a good sign that people were sending their children to government schools.
“We are hopeful about reopening some more schools in the district,” he said.