Around 101 primary government schools in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur district have been closed in the last week and further merged into other government schools. This situation has put approximately more than 3,000 children (Classes 1 to 5) and several teachers along with parents into a state of chaos and confusion. The schools in Kanpur were closed as they could not meet the 19 basic infrastructure requirements set by Operation Kayakalp, according to Careers360 reports.
Operation Kayakalp is a programme that was launched by the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath-led government in Uttar Pradesh. Yogi Adityanath launched the Operation Kayakalp programme in the year 2018. It was introduced to boost the right infrastructure and build smart classes in state schools.
As per the programme, the 19 basic facilities include toilets, drinking water supply, proper construction of classrooms, and many others. However, many schools lacked such facilities while others were running around court cases taking place between landlords and the office of the Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA). The 101 primary government schools in Kanpur that have been closed mid-academic-session this year were functioning from rented premises.
In November 2022, a 13-member committee was formed by the Yogi Adityanath-led government to fast-track the merger of these schools into one operating from government-owned buildings. The 101 schools were then given notice regarding the shift in December 2022. This merger has currently disrupted classes for many schools, especially taking place in the middle of the academic year.
“Due to this, students are harassed,” said a teacher from a primary school in Prem Nagar, Kanpur. “Majority of these students are from low-income backgrounds, their parents are either rickshaw-pullers or labourers,” the teacher added, reported the publication.
Reports also suggest that several children have been sent to schools that are 1 to 2 km away from their neighbourhood. Meanwhile, the Right to Education Act declares that the state government needs to provide a primary school within a kilometer of every residential area and an upper-primary school within 3 km of the same, a senior teacher notified.
Teachers from those selected schools are quite worried about the impact on children’s learning due to the chaos. They also shared their concern about those students who don’t have any transportation facilities or the funds to come to school daily.
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