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Pressure within Cong mounts to not take complete haircut, saves 70 schools from closing in HP

Shimla, June 2

It seems, that pressure exerted by the state unit chief of the Congress party, Pratibha Singh, on the Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu government to reconsider its decision to close down 90 schools that were upgraded by the previous BJP government in tribal areas, has remained successful. In a recent notification issued on May 30, the Director of Higher Education, Amarjeet Singh, ordered that out of the 90 previously denotified schools, 70 would now be allowed to remain open due to increased enrollment.

On May 26, 2023, the Sukhu government had decided to denotify 20 government middle schools, 34 high schools, and 36 senior secondary schools in Himachal Pradesh, citing low student numbers. These schools had been upgraded by the previous BJP government after April 1, 2022. However, the decision faced opposition not only from the BJP but also from Congress party President Pratibha Singh and former Congress MLA Asha Kumari, who advised their own government for taking such a drastic step without consensus within the ruling party.

In response to Pratibha Singh’s objections, the Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu government reconsidered its decision after 24 hours and decided to restore 26 schools, while 64 schools remained denotified. Additionally, on May 29, the Director of Higher Education issued a notification stating that the denotified schools that met the enrollment criteria of 20 students or more in government high schools and 25 students or more in government senior secondary schools would be kept in abeyance until further orders.

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The Department also instructed the principals of the concerned schools not to relieve the staff until further notice. However, 20 denotified middle schools with 15 or fewer students that were upgraded after April 1, 2022, would remain denotified according to the latest order.

The Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu government, which took charge on December 12, 2022, had previously decided to denotify 900 government institutions that were established by the former Jai Ram Thakur government after April 1, 2022. Although 90 schools upgraded during the previous government were also denotified recently, they were allowed to continue operating to avoid disrupting the education of already enrolled students.


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