MGLCs to cease functioning in March

The Multi-Grade Learning Centres (MGLC), single-teacher schools in the remote tribal and coastal areas of the State, will seize to exist this March with the conclusion of a three-year extension. MGLCs were set up in 1997 to ensure universal primary education under the District Primary Education Project (DPEP) across the State.

After the enactment of the Right to Education Act in 2012, the State government had announced the conversion of MGLCs into primary schools. But this was not done. There were 354 MGLCs in the State and 11,888 students dependent on it. The MGLCs were mainly concentrated in the districts of Palakkad, Malappuram, Thrissur, Wayanad, Kozhikode, Kannur, Kasaragod, Ernakulam, Idukki, Pathanamthitta, and Thiruvanathapuram.

In Attappady, there were 23 MGLCs, with 600 tribal students. In 1997, there were 484 MGLCs. The Union government provided financial assistance to these schools under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) from 2003 to 2011. With this, the burden fell on the State government.

The Director of Public Instruction (DPI) had reportedly submitted a report to the government seeking the conversion of 111 MGLCs as primary schools. The government was yet to take a decision, sources said.

The tribal organisations in Attappady such as ‘Thampu’ had urged the government to convert all MGLCs into primary schools to ensure primary education to tribal children.

Thampu president Rajendra Prasad, in a statement here on Tuesday, said the closure of MGLCs would affect 600 tribal children in Attappady.

So, MGLCs should be made primary schools to provide education to children in the marginalised sections of society. There were 354 teachers and as many helpers in MGLCs. Their future was also bleak, the statement said.