"Save Our School", Students Requested HD Kumaraswamy. He Obliged

The government has issued an order to shut the government school in their village of Alaghatta, about 250 kms from Bangalore, due to shortage of students.

Students from Chitradurga district travelled 250 km to attend HD Kumaraswamy's Janata Darshan.

Bengaluru:

Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy holds a Janata Darshan every day to give direct access to people to meet him. Earlier this week - it was students from Chitradurga district who waited to see him with one demand - to save their government school from closure.

The government has issued an order to shut the government school in their village of Alaghatta, about 250 kms from Bangalore, due to shortage of students.

Navina, a student said, "Why they have done this is because there are 43 of us (students). Earlier there were 52. There are private schools in our village. The private schools have given money and taken the students away. So the strength of our school has reduced."

The parents who accompanied the students to Bengaluru to meet the chief minister claimed that the school was closed due to preassure from private schools. "The private schools have paid bribes and moved our school. There are no teachers there now. The school had been running for 30 years. For 8 days now there is no school, no food. They have locked the school and gone," said one parent.

The children caught the attention of the chief minister when he was about to leave the area. Mr Kumaraswamy listened to their request and assured that the school would stay open.

A J Antony, deputy director of public instruction (DDPI), Chitradurga said the department had just been following procedures. "It is an old school but because of poor basic amenities and because the numbers of students is low in this school we gave a proposal to the government on shifting to another school. The government gave the order to transfer the school. We are following the government order.  If the government gives another order we will reopen the school," he said.

And as for the children - they are clear what they want.

Chandana, a student said, "Our school should stay. I want to study in this school till SSLC... We protested in front of the DDPI but he didn't say anything. They said it was senior officials who had decided and we would have to go to Bengaluru. We came at night to tell the chief minister that we want the school there."

The matter is now before the primary education ministry - and officers there say the order to keep the school open would soon be issued.