Shillong: Meghalaya Education Minister Rakkam A Sangma on Tuesday said that there are 269 schools in Meghalaya with an official enrollment of fewer than 10 students each.
Sangma said that the state government will verify the data released by the Ministry of Education and take necessary steps to address the issue.
He said an official would soon visit the schools to verify the report of the Ministry of Education.
Of the 269 schools, the Education Minister said 168 primary schools in the state have less than 10 students. The enrolment in 101 upper primary schools is equally dismal.
“The low enrollment is alarming and we (state government) will verify the data, which was released by the Union Ministry of Education, and take necessary steps,” he said.
When asked if closing down these schools is one of the options, Sangma emphasised that closure is not a solution for most, though in some, if it is feasible, then the department will do so.
“The government has to understand what the cause of low enrollment is, as it could be due to deficient infrastructure, lack of teachers or some other issues,” Sangma said.
Asked if the government intent to merge schools that have low student numbers, the Education Minister said, “It is not possible in all cases because many of these schools are in remote or inaccessible areas. Some schools can be situated at the top of a hill with distances of 5 to 10 kilometres away from the next one, so it would be difficult for students to commute every day.”