Claim: 13,000 government schools have been shut in Gujarat.

Who: Congress party vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

Where: At a rally in Bardoli, Gujarat, on 8 February.

Check: He is wrong.

District-level school statistics show the number of elementary* schools in Gujarat has actually increased from 40,943 in 2011-12 to 42,745 by September 2012.

It would appear that the claim is based on a resolution passed by the state government’s education department on 9 June 2011, that suggests that 13,450 primary schools with a class strength of less than 100 students be merged with the nearest bigger schools keeping in mind the Right to Education Act that states provision of a school within a radius of 1km (for Classes I-V) and 3km (for Classes VI-VIII). Of these, there are 6,826 primary schools that have less than 50 students.

The resolution cites lack of adequate students, lower staff strength and financial unavailability for running these schools. It directs all district education officers, city education committees and zila panchayats to make note of such schools with less than 100 students. Merging these schools with more successful government schools in the neighbourhood would provide for better infrastructure, better education and save on costs, the circular from the state’s education department (in Gujarati) said.

Source: District Information System for Education (DISE), Gujarat education department resolution

* The DISE includes a few schools with both primary and secondary classes in the “elementary" classification.

Close