Final decision would be taken after receiving the proposal from all the district offices Credit: Representational image

Agartala: Reports of Tripura government considering to withdraw affiliation of science and commerce streams from schools having less number of students in consultation with the school management committees (SMC) have created a controversy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

A letter issued by the West Tripura district education officer (DEO) Rupan Roy on May 2 to 25 schools district read, “In accordance to the decision taken by the higher authority, schools which are running with subjects/ streams in HS (+2 stage) in Class XI & XII having less/ poor number of students as required for affiliation to TBSE is/ are to be withdrawn/ cancelled.”

Speaking with EastMojo, PCC vice-president Tapas dey said that the government should not consider such a decision and if taken this may turn into a mistake of the education department as the number of students might increase in the coming years.

“Withdrawing streams from schools is an attempt to hide the reality that there is an acute shortage of PGT teachers in the state. They should recruit teachers and continue the classes as not a single student can be denied their right to education,” Dey said.

State NSUI general secretary Shreyasi Laskar condemned the initiative taken by the state government and demanded to immediately stop the surveying in schools across the state.

Speaking in this matter, education minister Ratan Lal Nath said that a meeting was held recently and all the eight (DEOs) and (SMCs) from all the schools having a lesser number of students were asked to submit a proposal to shift the stream to neighbouring schools.

“We have decided to conduct a survey on the availability of students in science and commerce streams of Class XI and XII in all eight districts. The (DEOs) and (SMCs) were asked to submit their proposals with the education department by this month,” Nath said.

He also said that in a number of schools the number of students studying in science and commerce stream is less than the number of teachers. “The DEOs and SMCs were instructed to submit a report from those schools and inform the local MLA about them and then submit the report to the department,” Nath added.

He also said that the final decision would be taken by the state government only after receiving the proposal from all the district offices. “A number of MLAs have agreed to shift science and commerce streams to the nearby schools so that the number of teachers engaged in those schools can be transferred to those schools. This would help the education department provide in providing better education system in the state,” Nath added.

Speaking further, Nath said that the schools in remote areas would not be included in the list as the distance from one school to other is more in comparison to those in cities.

Tripura has a total of 4,398 government and government-aided schools and 335 private schools in which 5 lakh students are studying. The state government spends Rs 7,600 on each student in the primary section, and Rs 21,138 on each student at the elementary level.

Earlier in September last year, Tripura government had decided to hand over 20 state-run schools to the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) for five years. Of these 20, seven are in West Tripura district, one in Gomati, two in Khowai, three in Sepahijala and seven schools in South Tripura district.

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