PUNE: As soon as the state government announced its decision to close the government schools with low enrollment in the state, teachers, parents and villagers vehemently opposed this decision. Against this backdrop, an out-of-the-box initiative has been started by the Zilla Parishad about the schools in Pune district. A new option called cluster school (group school) has been started through the Pune Zilla Parishad and the first cluster school in the state is all set to take off at Panshet (Velhe) in Pune district.
Sixteen Zilla Parishad schools from Panshet and its surrounding areas in Panshet district of Pune where schools that have had only 20 students earning their secondary school certificate have been selected for the group school project. A big building has been constructed in Panshet for this project and this school is going to start from the coming academic year. This will help the students to study with more children along with increasing the quality of education.
Ayush Prasad, Chief Executive Officer of Zilla Parishad, shared, "Under the National Education Policy, instructions have been given to establish group schools in Class VII. Based on this, a group school has been started by combining 16 schools in Panshet under the aegis of the Zilla Parishad. Under this, the Jankidevi Bajaj Foundation has made available a fund of ₹50crores from the Social Responsibility Fund, while two buses have been provided for the students on behalf of Force Motors. Around 150 students from the surrounding 10kms will study in this group school. A special bus has also been arranged for these children to come to school.
He further added, "The allowance will also be given through the Education Department of Maharashtra Government. Due to this, the expenses will not be taken from the students. There were 37 teachers in the 16 schools which have been consolidated."
However, in these schools that have been set up now, different subjects will be taught by different teachers. What is special is that the villagers have given special cooperation for this initiative. The number of children in these 16 schools in Panshet was terribly low for the past few years. The students from different classes were studying together in the same classroom. However, now instead of this, students of the same class will sit together.