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Over 40,000 schools in three states merged under NITI Aayog project

December 5, 2019

Over 40,000 elementary and secondary schools from Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Odisha were merged as part of a NITI Aayog initiative. Either these schools were shut down and their students shifted to others or they have been administratively merged. The measures have improved the school system’s efficiency.

HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ told Lok Sabha that NITI Aayog’s education project, Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital in Education (SATH-E), has led to the merging of many schools. This includes 35,996 Madhya Pradesh schools, 4,312 in Jharkhand and 1,803 in Odisha.

The minister also informed that about 74 lakh children in Madhya Pradesh and 34 Lakh children in Odisha have benefitted from the education programmes by SAATH-E for academically weak children.

All the three states agreed to run the SATH-E project in 2017-18. Private consultants were also enlisted by NITI Aayog to advise the states on improving their school system.  Despite the measures, there are about one lakh vacant teaching positions in these schools of MP and Odisha. School mergers are usually practised to shut down institutions with low student enrolment. The students of these schools are moved to other, larger schools. According to sources, Jharkhand has no vacancies for teachers. 

According to its advocates, this measure helps “consolidate” resources such as teachers, libraries, laboratories and play equipment. Thus, allowing for their more efficient use and reduced vacancies. Still, Madhya Pradesh has 38,898 vacant teaching positions at the primary level and 41,971 at the secondary level. While Odisha has 4,410 vacant positions at the elementary level and 8,515 at the secondary level.

Apart from mergers, the SATH-E project, which also included a “remediation programme”, is in its third phase of implementation and will come to an end in 2020.

About NITI Aayog:

The NITI Aayog is a policy think tank of the Government of India, established with the aim to achieve sustainable development goals with cooperative federalism by fostering the involvement of State Governments of India in the economic policy-making process using a bottom-up approach.

Source: News by Careers 360

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