Bhubaneswar: In an attempt to ensure better management of schools in the State, the Odisha government today notified that as many as 1603 Upper Primary (UP) Schools will be merged with High Schools either in one campus or adjacent to each other with effect from September 1.
Low enrolment in these school for years prompted State government to take a such a decision, official sources said.
After merger, the entities will be named as Nodal High School after the name of the High School and classes up to Class VIII shall be treated as the Elementary Unit of the School and Class IX and X shall be treated as the Secondary Class, sources added.
According to a government notification, Balasore district has the highest number of UP schools that is 145 to be merged with its nearby High schools.
The tribal-dominated Malkangiri disteict has only one UP school to be merged.
Similarly, Cuttack has 135, Jajpur 120 and Mayurbhanj has 135 UP schools respectively to be joined with High schools located in the adjacent areas, the notification added.
As per the School and Mass Education Department, there are many UP and high schools in the State having very poor enrolment of students. But they have full strength of teachers. In some other instance, these schools situated on a single campus have a few students but have shortage of teachers. Merger of such schools would improve the teaching facility, while the schools would have a good strength of both students and teachers.
Below is the complete list of districts having the number of UP schools that would be merged with adjacent high schools.
The Department also observed that there is a lack of coordination among these institutions while undertaking different activities like holding prayers classes, annual functions, annual sports, campus cleaning, mass drill, observance of important days etc.
Angul(40), Balangir(55), Balasore(145), Bargarh(42), Bhadrak(107), Boudh(12), Cuttack(135), Deogarh(14), Dhenkanal (46), Gajapati(5), Ganjam(98), Jagatsinghpur(89), Jajpur(125), Jharsuguda (29), Kalahandi(27), Kandhamal(12), Kendrapara(114), Keonjhar(58), Khurdha(83), Koraput(15), Malkangiri(1), Mayurbhanj(120), Nabarangpur(3), Nayagarh(45), Nuapada(7), Puri(87), Rayagada(5), Sambalpur(32), Subarnapur(6) and Sundargarh(46).
Notably, there are about 21,000 UP schools and 6,193 government and aided secondary schools and 849 recognised high schools in the state now.