Three days after the Congress-led Himachal Pradesh government denotified 90 government schools, Education Minister Rohit Thakur on Tuesday said the decision would be reviewed and re-opening of schools that meet the required criteria of students' strength would be considered.
As many as 20 middle schools with less than 15 students, 34 high schools with less than 20 students and 36 senior secondary schools with less than 25 students have been denotified.
In a statement issued here, the minister said the cut-off date of enrolment of students in winter closing and summer closing schools was March 31 and April 15, respectively, and it has come to the notice that some schools which have been denotified now meet the criteria of required students strength.
These schools would be reviewed and appropriate decisions to re-open such schools would be taken, he said and added that the state government is committed to providing quality education to the students of the state nearer to their homes, especially in the remote and far-flung areas.
He said despite financial challenges, the state government has decided to fill up about 6,000 posts of various categories of teachers in the education department to address the shortage of teaching staff.
The de-notification of schools had evoked sharp reaction from Congress and BJP leaders and Himachal Pradesh Congress chief Pratibha Singh had asked the government not to de-notify any school in tribal areas.
She said former chief minister Virbhadra Singh had opened schools in the remote tribal areas with tough topography to provide education to students close to their homes as studies get affected in the snow-borne areas and people of the area want schools to remain open.
Terming the decision to de-notify 90 schools as anti-people, Leader of Opposition (LoP) Jai Ram Thakur maintained that even after six months in office, the state government is continuing with the de-notification of institutions opened for the welfare of the people.
Earlier, 286 schools (primary and middle) with zero enrolments were denotified. The ruling party has maintained that hundreds of government institutions were opened at the fag end of the BJP government's tenure without budgetary provisions and required staff to woo voters.