500 Chhattisgarh Schools Forced to Shut Down as Students Leave in Large Numbers Due to Covid Rise

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In the aftermath of the second wave of coronavirus and subsequent lockdown, at least 500 private schools in Chhattisgarh have shut down as the school authorities did not receive fees and now students are leaving the schools in large numbers. The school managers have informed the education department of the state about the closure of their schools. Due to this, the future of about 1 lakh students who were studying in these schools, hangs in the air.

Chhattisgarh government on May 31 extended lockdown till further orders.

In Raipur, 35 private schools have informed the District Education Officer about the closure of the school.

The closure of the private schools in such a large number has impacted the education sector activities in the states. Now, about 20,000 students who were studying free of cost in these schools under the Right to Education (RTE) Act have also been deprived of free education.

The main reason behind the closure of these schools is financial instability, according to school managements. They said that it is becoming very difficult for them to pay the salaries of the staff, to bear the expenses of the school bus as well as the office maintenance.

The managers of the private schools which do not have their own buildings said that they are unable to pay the rent of the building where the school was running. Most of the private schools in the state were running in rented buildings and they had to close the school due to the inability to pay rent.

As many as 60 lakh students are enrolled in 57,000 private and government schools combined in an academic session. Around 15 lakh students are enrolled in 6, 615 private schools of which 3,1,317 students are studying free of cost under RTE on 25 percent of the seats.

Chhattisgarh School Education Minister Prem Sai Singh Tekam told News18 that the government is getting complete information and the list of the schools which have been shut down.

"Authorities have been asked to prepare the list of children in schools. No child’s future will be ruined. Admission of all will be ensured in government schools," he said.

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