Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: Giving in to the rising protests against the merger of schools in the city, government has agreed to a field verification of the affected schools. For 15 days from Monday, District Collector, Navin Mittal, will go around various schools along with the MLA and MP concerned to know first hand the problems. If children are found to be affected by merger of a particular school, then it would be reopened.

This assurance was given by Minister for Coal and Energy, Mohd Ali Shabbir, while reviewing the next round of Praja Patham programme beginning from June 25. Though merger of schools was not listed in the agenda, MLAs, MLCs and Hyderabad MP, Asaduddin Owaisi, raised the issue. They expressed fears that nearly 290 schools were being closed down. On the one hand government was trying to eliminate child labour and on the other it was encouraging it by closing down schools, they said.

Unilateral decision

Mr. Owaisi said in the name of academic clubbing, the district administration was closing down 290 schools.

He criticised the government for taking a unilateral decision without consulting the public representatives. He asked the government to keep in abeyance the Collector’s order of clubbing school.

Mr. Shabbir Ali said during inspection of schools if it was found that children were being affected by the merger decision, then that particular school would be reopened. He asked the Collector to complete the exercise before the next district review committee meeting.