The Haryana BJP government has come under direct attack from Opposition Congress and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) after it decided to shut down 208 government schools in the past three years. At the Haryana assembly, the INLD raised questions as to why the state government had allowed 900 private schools to open while shutting down state schools.
The Opposition has also accused the state government of ignoring Right to Education by pushing for privatisation of educational institutions.
The Congress has accused the BJP government of poisoning young minds by saffronising the institutions and said it will detoxify the institutions after it comes to power. Speaking to India Today TV, state Congress chief Ashok Tanwar said 50 per cent of the state’s children were deprived of schooling ever since the BJP government came to power.
“BJP government does not want that people get education. They want people to remain illiterate. They have tried to saffronise the government schools and are poisoning young minds. We will detoxify the schools after Congress returns to power,” Ashok Tanwar said.
Launching a scathing attack on the Manohar Lal Khattar government, senior INLD leader Ravinder Dhull said BJP was hell bent on privatising schools and denying Right to Education to the children of poor people by shutting down government schools and fuelling private schools.
“208 government schools were shut down during the three years between 2015 and 2018. On the other hand, the state government gave permission to open 974 private schools. The government is promoting privatisation of education. Private players are being given precedence. They have also reduced the education budget,” Ravinder Singh Dhull said.
Closure of government schools has led to widespread resentment among the people. Locals believe that the government schools have been shut down to give way to the private schools which have mushroomed in large numbers in every nook and corner. However, Haryana Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma refutes the allegations and says the state government was committed to improve the educational standards and have opened Model Sanskriti Schools.
Ram Bilas Sharma says the schools in question were shut down due to rationalisation as some of the villages had more than one school, which lacked adequate strength of students. Ram Bilas Sharma also claimed that the decision to open Haryana Model Sanskriti schools has attracted over 50,000 students from well known private schools. He however parried questions why the state government allowed over 900 schools to mushroom in the state.
“This was rationalisation as we laid stress on quality education. 50,000 students left famous private schools and joined government schools in Panchkula, Ambala, Kurukshetra, Panipat and Mahendragarh. Children are eager to join Modern Sanskriti schools. So this is rationalization.”
“We rationalised the schools and shifted the children to one school for their convenience. We have not shut down any school. We have also upgraded many schools,” Ram Bilas Sharma added.