Shortfall Of 19,128 Classrooms In State-Run Gujarat Schools: Government

Shortfall Of 19,128 Classrooms In State-Run Gujarat Schools: Government

The Gujarat government on Monday admitted in the legislative Assembly that there was a shortfall of over 19,000 classrooms in various state-run primary schools as on December 2021.

Responding to a set of questions raised by opposition Congress MLAs during the Question Hour, Gujarat Education Minister Jitu Vaghani informed the House that these classrooms will be built at the earliest.

While there was a shortfall of 19,128 classrooms in state-run primary schools as on December 2021, the Gujarat government has also built 2,714 new classrooms during the last two years, Vaghani said in a written reply.

Of the 33 districts in Gujarat, tribal-dominated Dahod tops the list with a shortfall of 1,688 classrooms, followed by Banaskantha at 1,532, Bhavnagar 966, Mehsana 947and Sabarkantha 941, according to the reply.

It was also revealed from the state government’s data that 23 state-run primary schools are functioning without electricity. Nine such schools are in Gir-Somnath district, followed by 7 in Porbandar, 3 in Morbi, 2 in Kutch and one each in Devbhumi-Dwarka and Surendranagar districts.

The BJP government informed the House that as many as 5,439 state-run primary schools and 272 private primary schools do not have any compound wall surrounding their campuses.

Notably, in the budget presented on March 3, the Gujarat government had announced that it will spend Rs 937 crore in 2022-23 to construct 10,000 new classrooms in existing primary and secondary schools run by the government.

Responding to a set of questions raised by Congress MLAs about implementation of the Right to Education Act (RTE) in the state, Vaghani, in his written reply, said as against 1,73,815 eligible students, admissions were given to 1,43,164 pupils in private schools under the 2009 legislation during the last two years.

The Act stipulates free and compulsory education for children between the age of 6 and 14 years.

Referring to these figures, the opposition Congress pointed out that 30,651 students, despite being eligible, could not secure admission under the RTE in the academic years 2020-21 and 2021-22.

Explaining this gap, Vaghani said many parents cancel the admission given under the RTE if their child does not get into a school located near their place of residence.

“Parents also cancel admission if they do not get a school of their choice. Some cancel the RTE admission claiming the school is far from their residence. These are some of the reasons for the gap in approved applications and actual admissions. Otherwise, our government is committed to implement the RTE Act in the state,” said Vaghani.