Satellite Surveillance Done under Right to Education Act
Satellite mapping done by the state education department
shows that rural parts of the state need over 2,000 primary and secondary schools.
The mapping process began in 2008 but the right to free and compulsory education
Act (RTE), 2009, made it mandatory to identify number of schools in the state. As
it stands today, rural Maharashtra is in need of 2,087 primary and 133 secondary
schools. A total of 58 primary, 141 upper primary and four secondary schools are
required in Pune district. A detailed master plan outlining the requirement of schools
in each of village of the state has been prepared by the state education department
which will be sent to the Cabinet in a couple of months for approval.
The areas or limits of neighborhood within which a school has to be established
by the state have been explained in the RTE. Accordingly, for children in classes
I to V, a school shall be located within a distance of one km from the house while
for classes VI to VIII, a school shall be at a distance of not more than 3 km.
With the help of the geographical information system, we mapped villages and determined
areas where schools are not available in the mandatory limits. This master plan
thus prepared revealed that over 2,000 schools are needed in rural Maharashtra as
per RTE norms, said R C Patil, undersecretary of the state education department,
who led this project.
A total of 30 districts in the state were mapped which disclosed that 618 primary
schools (classes I to V), 1,469 upper primary schools (classes VI to VIII) and 133
secondary schools (classes IX and X) need to be established. In 2008, we received
over 12,000 applications requesting us to start a school in their village. This
is a huge number and that’s when we decided to study if so many new schools are
actually needed, said Patil.
How the master plan was prepared
The team tagged the present schools on 'Google Map' along with information
such as the population of village and the school code. After all the functioning
schools were tagged, the map gave an exact idea of where there are no schools (as
per the RTE Act).
The education department team then decided the exact places in villages where a
school is required.
An inspection at ground level was then done at the new locations, natural hurdles
if any were noted and accordingly the master plan was readied.
The state education department through a government resolution (GR) issued on July
11 has invited suggestions or objections to the master plan.
Suggestions are to be sent with reasons to the district education officer till July
18.The state directorate of secondary education will then scan the applications
and make changes if necessary. A final plan will be presented before the Cabinet
in the next two months.
Courtesy: Times of India