Faced with no admissions from the beginning of the academic year, two government primary schools in Karur district are on the verge of closure. If students are not admitted by the end of this month, these schools may be closed permanently.
The panchayat union primary school at Olapalayam, which has been functioning with two children and as many teachers including the headmaster till last year, has been wearing a deserted look with locked classrooms. Schools across the state had reopened in early June, but not the Olapalayam school since not a single student had joined it this year. One of the remaining students passed out of class V and joined class VI in another school while another student took a transfer to a private school.
The school headmaster opted for voluntary retirement this year while the sole assistant teacher has been posted at Thiruvaluvar Nagar on deputation in the absence of any new admission. Similarly, Mattaparaiputhur panchayat union primary school in Thanthoni panchayat has been remaining closed for lack of admissions this year. Though it was functioning with students in single digit, all of them left the school and there has been no fresh admission. Both the teachers have been posted in other schools nearby on deputation. Saying that the school education department is deliberately closing down schools instead of taking measures to revive them, S Palanivel, a native of Mattaparaiputhur, asked the reason for keeping the schools closed when there was time till July 31 to admit students.
Apart from lack of patronage, school education department officials said there were several reasons for closing the schools. However they maintained that schools are not closed permanently and may function if children are admitted. Karur district chief educational officer C Muthukrishnan said that parents of students at these schools had opted for nearby private schools over lack of proper transportation facility. Asked if the school will be closed permanently, he said that the school education department will take the final call on the matter.