Bombay, (Mumbai) is shutting down its night schools! These night schools have helped countless working class people gain education over the years. The first move was this: the State government fired 250 night school teachers.
Close to 4,500 students and teachers of night schools held a protest march against the state government’s decision to shut down these schools in phased manner.
Subhash More, president, Shikshak Bharti, said, “The government has decided to shut down night schools and promote open schools instead. This is nothing but robbing the poor and working class of their right to education. We want the government to not go ahead with this unjustified decision, and provide more funding and facilities to these students.”
Open schools essentially mean students will have to study online. “Students will have to buy books and appear for exams. The government must explain how those who can barely afford schooling will study online,” Mr. More said.
Maharashtra has over 150 night schools with approximately 35,000 students and around 900 teachers, and 80 per cent of these schools are in Mumbai. In the first phase of the proposed shutdown, the government has already fired around 250 teachers.
“Once the teachers are fired, the number of students will be automatically reduced. In three years, the entire system of night school will crumble,” Mr. More said. Lok Bharti Party MLC Kapil Patil said, “This is just the beginning of the battle. If the government fails to take action, it will be met with more agitations in the coming months.”